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Probability - short version

The chance of something happening. Calculated from the number of occurrences divided by number of times that occurrence could have occurred. OR the likelihood of occurrence of an event, action or item.

Probability - long version

Probability is a term used to describe an attitude of mind towards some proposition of whose truth we are not certain. The proposition of interest is usually of the form "Will a specific event occur?" The attitude of mind is of the form "How certain are we that the event will occur?" The certainty we adopt can be described in terms of a numerical measure and this number, between 0 and 1, we call probability. The higher the probability of an event, the more certain we are that the event will occur. Thus, probability in an applied sense is a measure of the likeliness that a (random) event will occur.

The concept has been given an axiomatic mathematical derivation in probability theory, which is used widely in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, artificial intelligence/machine learning and philosophy to, for example, draw inferences about the likeliness of events. Probability is used to describe the underlying mechanics and regularities of complex systems.


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