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By Lothar Sachs (auth.)

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Extra resources for Applied Statistics: A Handbook of Techniques

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2. Converting to logarithmic notation. 3. Recording the characteristic and determining the mantissa from the logarithm table. 4. Carrying out the logarithmic calculations. 5. Determining the antilog with the help of the antilogarithm table-the characteristic fixing the location of the decimal point. If, as often happens, an antilogarithm table is unavailable, the numerus can of course be found with the help of the logarithm table. The procedure is simply the reverse of that used in determining the logarithms.

This is the starting point of a definition of statistics as an aid in decision making, which goes back to Abraham Wald (1902-1950): Statistics is a combination of methods which permit us to make reasonable optimal decisions in cases of uncertainty. Descriptive statistics contents itself with the investigation and description of a whole population. Modern inductive or analytic statistics studies, in contrast, only some portion, which should be characteristic or representative for the population or aggregate in whose properties we are interested.

They possess a certain physical symmetry which implies statistical symmetry. Statistical symmetry is however an unconditional requirement of this definition of probability. The question here is of an a priori probability, which can also be referred to as mathematical probability. An unfair die is not physically symmetric; therefore statistical symmetry can no longer be assumed, and the probability of a specified outcome in a toss of a die cannot be computed. The only way to determine the probability of a particular outcome consists in a very large number of tosses.

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