inference
/in"feuhr euhns, -freuhns/, n.
1. the act or process of inferring.
2. something that is inferred: to make rash inferences.
3. Logic.
a. the process of deriving the strict logical consequences of assumed premises.
b. the process of arriving at some conclusion that, though it is not logically derivable from the assumed premises, possesses some degree of probability relative to the premises.
c. a proposition reached by a process of inference.
[1585-95; < ML inferentia. See INFER, -ENCE]

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reason
      in logic, derivation of conclusions from given information or premises by any acceptable form of reasoning. Inferences are commonly drawn (1) by deduction, which, by analyzing valid argument forms, draws out the conclusions implicit in their premises, (2) by induction, which argues from many instances to a general statement, (3) by probability, which passes from frequencies within a known domain to conclusions of stated likelihood, and (4) by statistical reasoning, which concludes that, on the average, a certain percentage of a set of entities will satisfy the stated conditions. See also deduction; implication.

      in statistics, the process of drawing conclusions about a parameter one is seeking to measure or estimate. Often scientists have many measurements of an object—say, the mass of an electron—and wish to choose the best measure. One principal approach of statistical inference is Bayesian estimation (Bayes's theorem), which incorporates reasonable expectations or prior judgments (perhaps based on previous studies), as well as new observations or experimental results. Another method is the likelihood approach, in which “prior probabilities” are eschewed in favour of calculating a value of the parameter that would be most “likely” to produce the observed distribution of experimental outcomes.

      In parametric inference, a particular mathematical form of the distribution function is assumed. Nonparametric inference avoids this assumption and is used to estimate parameter values of an unknown distribution having an unknown functional form.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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  • Inference — is the act or process of deriving a conclusion based solely on what one already knows. Inference is studied within several different fields. * Human inference (i.e. how humans draw conclusions) is traditionally studied within the field of… …   Wikipedia

  • INFÉRENCE — Opération de l’esprit qui passe de propositions assertives, comme prémisses, à des propositions assertives, comme conclusions. Au sens strict, on distingue l’inférence du raisonnement en ce qu’elle peut être soit médiate soit immédiate (passer de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Inférence — Les types de raisonnement rigoureux déductif (synthétique) Déduction (implication ou inférence universelle) Syllogisme Raisonnement par l absurde (apagogie) ; par la contraposée inductif (analytique) induction complète (étude de tous les cas …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Inference — Inférence L inférence est une opération mentale, ou jugement, qui consiste à tirer une conclusion (d une série de propositions reconnues pour vraies). Ces conclusions sont tirées à partir de règles de base. Dans sa définition classique, l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • inference — in·fer·ence / in fə rəns/ n 1: the act or process of inferring; specif: the act of passing from one proposition, statement, or judgment considered as true to another whose truth is believed to follow logically from that of the former 2: something …   Law dictionary

  • Inference — In fer*ence, n. [From {Infer}.] [1913 Webster] 1. The act or process of inferring by deduction or induction. [1913 Webster] Though it may chance to be right in the conclusions, it is yet unjust and mistaken in the method of inference. Glanvill.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • inference — 1 deduction, conclusion, judgment (see under INFER) 2 Inference, ratiocination denote the process of arriving at conclusions from data or premises. Inference often connotes guesswork based on trivial or inadequate data or premises; in technical… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • inference — 1590s, from M.L. inferentia, from L. inferentem (nom. inferens), prp. of inferre (see INFER (Cf. infer)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • inference — [n] conclusion, deduction assumption, conjecture, corollary, guess, hint, interpretation, presumption, reading, reasoning, supposition; concept 689 …   New thesaurus

  • inference — ► NOUN 1) a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning. 2) the process of reaching a conclusion by inferring. DERIVATIVES inferential adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • inference — [in′fər əns] n. [ML inferentia] 1. an act or the process of inferring 2. a conclusion or opinion arrived at by inferring …   English World dictionary

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