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estimation

[es-tuh-mey-shuhn]

In mathematics, use of a function or formula to derive a solution or make a prediction. Unlike approximation, it has precise connotations. In statistics, for example, it connotes the careful selection and testing of a function called an estimator. In calculus, it usually refers to an initial guess for a solution to an equation, which is gradually refined by a process that generates closer estimates. The difference between the estimate and the exact value is the error.

Estimation is the calculated approximation of a result which is usable even if input data may be incomplete or uncertain.

In statistics, see estimation theory, estimator.

In mathematics, approximation or estimation typically means finding upper or lower bounds of a quantity that cannot readily be computed precisely and is also an educated guess . While initial results may be unusably uncertain, recursive input from output, can purify results to be approximately accurate, certain, complete and noise-free.