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August 2001 Statistical Modeling: The Two Cultures (with comments and a rejoinder by the author)
Leo Breiman
Statist. Sci. 16(3): 199-231 (August 2001). DOI: 10.1214/ss/1009213726


There are two cultures in the use of statistical modeling to reach conclusions from data. One assumes that the data are generated by a given stochastic data model. The other uses algorithmic models and treats the data mechanism as unknown. The statistical community has been committed to the almost exclusive use of data models. This commitment has led to irrelevant theory, questionable conclusions, and has kept statisticians from working on a large range of interesting current problems. Algorithmic modeling, both in theory and practice, has developed rapidly in fields outside statistics. It can be used both on large complex data sets and as a more accurate and informative alternative to data modeling on smaller data sets. If our goal as a field is to use data to solve problems, then we need to move away from exclusive dependence on data models and adopt a more diverse set of tools.


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Leo Breiman. "Statistical Modeling: The Two Cultures (with comments and a rejoinder by the author)." Statist. Sci. 16 (3) 199 - 231, August 2001.


Published: August 2001
First available in Project Euclid: 24 December 2001

zbMATH: 1059.62505
MathSciNet: MR1874152
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/ss/1009213726

Rights: Copyright © 2001 Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Vol.16 • No. 3 • August 2001
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