Talk:Approximation error

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Mathematics (Rated Start-class, High-priority)
WikiProject Mathematics
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mathematics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Mathematics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Mathematics rating:
Start Class
High Priority
 Field: Analysis
WikiProject Statistics (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon

This article is within the scope of the WikiProject Statistics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of statistics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page or join the discussion.

Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
 


Sholdn't it be also |a|, ie the absolute value, in the denominator of the percentage error, like in the relative error? WikiBasti 13:45, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Yes, now fixed, thanks very much. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 02:13, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

According to Silberberg Chemistry 4th addition (I know, not a stats book): Percent error = 100 x error / measured value This contradicts what is there currently: Percent error = 100 x error / actual value Niubrad 02:05, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

But that's incorrect. For example, the percent error between 5 and 5 is not 100%, it's 0%.--LakeHMM 05:15, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

I think it was (experimental - theoretical)/theoretical

I think this is page is plain wrong[edit]

Errors are never substracted, the right formula are

Z=X-Y

Eabs_z=Eabs_x + Eabs_y

Z=X/Y

Erel_z=Erel_x + Erel_y


Think of it, if errors were substracted, we could get a perfect meassurements (0% error) from two absolutely wrong meassurements.

An example, we have two messurements 100 ± 1 (1%) and another at 200 ± 2 (1%), in the extreme cases, the substract could be:

Z=202 - 99 = 103

Z=198 - 101 = 97

z=100 ± 3, That is, you add the absolute errors. Not ± 1 error.

In a division

Z=203/99 ≈ 2.05050..

z=198/101 ≈ 1.960960..

z=2 ± 0.04 => 2%, you have added the relative errors, not 0% error


—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.103.225.22 (talk) 21:23, 18 March 2007 (UTC).
Good point. I suspect the author of that section used a different definition for error, namely, error = approximation − exact value, while the rest of the article takes the absolute value. The former definition is not used very often (because it's generally not that useful), so I deleted the section as confusing. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 11:02, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the removal. I've noticed that section was suspicious for a while. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:18, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Violation of Tag Removal and Article Deletion[edit]

In regards to this article and the article Percent difference. Next time it will be considered an act of Vandalism. Gilawson 02:47, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

No article was deleted as far as I can tell. CMummert · talk 03:00, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I did not delete the article, just redirected it. I thought that the two articles were not essentially different. Sorry if you disagree. I am fine keeping them separate. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 03:07, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
For the record you did delete the article Percent difference, here is your edit. Gilawson 03:21, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
That was not a deletion; a deletion removes the edit history as well. That was just a simple edit that replaced the content of the page with the redirect code. CMummert · talk 03:46, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
That's true, "deleting" a Wikipedia article would remove its history. But I was more concerned about its content. I was using the term as if it was used outside Wikipedia. But we are inside Wikipedia, so I should change my terminology. What would you call removing over 2000 characters leaving but a redirection in an article? To remove all content and knowledge of an equation all together? To go as far as saying that the equation is obsolete? I'm not sure, but I do know that such a drastic edit needs discussion. So sorry I did not take the time to view the guidelines set by Wikipedia on such a drastic edit, maybe one day I will find out the term for it. But until then, I will just assume to myself that I gave an unofficial warning and afterwards would allow myself to issue a Level 1 Warning if it happens again. You may view Oleg Alexandrov's talk page for more discussion on the matter. Gilawson 03:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
There was a merge tag on the page, and Oleg Alexandrov resolved it by redirecting. That is not vandalism. I have requested a better reference for the other article, since right now the only reference for the terminology is a set of course notes. Oleg said he thought the terminology is nonstandard, and I also feel that it is not standard enough to pass without a firm reference. CMummert · talk 03:59, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
That's the problem, there are not many references available. However, I can find you several from different Universities. They will all say the same thing. I will spend Tuesday afternoon compiling them. Anything else you would like to say so as to try show that the article is obsolete? Gilawson 04:04, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't care whether you think it's Vandalism or not. I am not here to debate it with you or anyone else. I just wanted to make documentation of it so as to give me right to issue an Official Warning next time. So please leave it as that. Gilawson 04:07, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't doubt that the term "percent difference" is used to mean what you say that it means. But in order to make it clear to everyone, you need to provide better references. You are free to issue "official warnings" but, since they aren't actually appropriate, no action is likely to be taken because of them. I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish by threatening these warnings. CMummert · talk 04:10, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
As long as the laboratories require its use and refer to it as such, it will be left as is. I am sorry you don't understand my actions, I can only but repeat myself one more time. I don't want the same user to repeat his edit. If a different user does the same exact thing, I will have to determine whether there is a possible link between such user and the one-time offender. If I believe there is, then I will issue an Official Warning. If I feel that there is no link between the two users, I will issue an Unofficial Warning. You may debate this as much as you feel fit, however, I've explained myself enough so that if such an edit reoccurs, I may use this documentation to uphold my end. Again, feel free to express your feelings for as long as you feel appropriate, but I am satisfied with my statement. The Discussion Page of the article has accepted your challenge of asking for validation of the existence of such a rare and obscure topic. Gilawson 04:22, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
(removing indent) "will be left as is"? You may want to read WP:OWN. The problem is not that the topic is rare and obscure, its that the topic is nothing more than a dictionary definition, and so it is not obvious that it needs to be in its own article. CMummert · talk 11:41, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

divide by zero[edit]

I think this article fails to explain what to do if your theroritical is 0, this would cause you to divide by zero. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.134.145.191 (talk) 17:51, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

important but insufficient[edit]

I think the notion to be discussed here is very important in numerical analysis, but this article is completely unsatisfying. Instead of trivialities like multiplying by 100%, it should discuss problems like cancellation of significant digits when taking differences, explain the reason for usual rules for calculating sums (e.g. to start with the smallest terms), and address similar important issues. Also, notions like "error in excess" and "error in deficiency" could be defined; the sign of the error may be important in several applications (not only in financial contexts :-). — MFH:Talk 16:40, 2 June 2008 (UTC)


More comments about absolute error and relative error[edit]

I think I need to make some comments about absolute error and relative error, since the article only gives us the definitions of these two concepts. Compared with absolute error, relative error is more meaningful as a measure of accuracy. Sometimes, absolute error may mislead us in considering the accuracy of an appoximate value. Let's see two examples. Suppose b is an appoximation to value a.

Example a) We have a=0.5\times10^1 and b=0.51\times10^1, the absolute error is 0.1 and the relative error is 0.02.
Example b) We have a=0.5000\times10^4and b=0.5100\times10^4, the absolute error is 100 and the relative error is 0.02.

The absolute error in example b) seems very large and unacceptalbe, but it has the same relative error as that in example a). So, for example b), the absolute error is misleading. Therefore, we usually pay more attention to relative error than absolute error.Yanran Chen —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yanran07 (talkcontribs) 13:57, 29 September 2008 (UTC)