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Computer-Intensive Methods

  1. B. D. Ripley

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a14010

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Ripley, B. D. 2005. Computer-Intensive Methods. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 2.

Author Information

  1. University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


One sense of “computer-intensive” statistics is just statistical methodology that makes use of a large amount of computer time. (Examples include the bootstrap, jackknife, smoothing, image analysis, and many uses of the EM algorithm.) However, the term is usually used for methods that go beyond the minimum of calculations needed for an illuminating analysis, for example, by replacing analytic approximations by computational ones, or requiring numeric optimization or integration over high-dimensional spaces. We introduce the subject with a very simple yet useful example, and then consider some of the areas in which computer-intensive methods are used, to give a flavor of current research.


  • boostrap;
  • jacknife;
  • image analysis;
  • optimization;
  • Monte Carlo