stochastic

EnglishEdit

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EtymologyEdit

From Ancient Greek στοχαστικός (stokhastikos), from στοχάζομαι (stokhazomai, aim at a target, guess), from στόχος (stokhos, an aim, a guess).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

stochastic (comparative more stochastic, superlative most stochastic)

  1. Random, randomly determined, relating to stochastics.
    • 1970, J. G. Ballard, The Atrocity Exhibition:
      In the evening, while she bathed, waiting for him to enter the bathroom as she powdered her body, he crouched over the blueprints spread between the sofas in the lounge, calculating a stochastic analysis of the Pentagon car park.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 854:
      Self-slaughter, as Hamlet always says, was certainly in the cards, unless one had been out here long enough to have contemplated the will of God, observed the stochastic whimsy of the day, learned when and when not to whisper “Insh'allah,” and understood how, as one perhaps might never have in England, to await, to depend upon, the ineluctable departure of what was most dear.
    • NB: This refers to the process of the determination, not necessarily the outcome. Flipping a fair coin that flipped a hundred heads in a row (unlikely to be a random result) could still be considered the product of a stochastic process.

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Last modified on 30 March 2014, at 12:52