Least Squares Method - short version

A mathematical procedure to identify the linear equation that best fits a set of ordered pairs by finding values for a, the y-intercept; and b, the slope. The goal of the least squares method is to minimize the total squared error between the values of y and ^y.

Least Squares Method - long version

The method of least squares is a standard approach to the approximate solution of overdetermined systems, i.e., sets of equations in which there are more equations than unknowns. "Least squares" means that the overall solution minimizes the sum of the squares of the errors made in solving every single equation.

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