Article first published online: 3 DEC 2004
Acta Crystallographica Section D
Volume 60, Issue 12-1, pages 2169–2183, December 2004
How to Cite
McCoy, A. J. (2004), Liking likelihood. Acta Crystallographica Section D, 60: 2169–2183. doi: 10.1107/S0907444904016038
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2004
- Article first published online: 3 DEC 2004
- Received 26 January 2004, accepted 30 June 2004
- maximum likelihood.
Maximum-likelihood methods have now been applied to most areas of macromolecular crystallography, including data reduction, molecular replacement, experimental phasing and refinement. However, students of macromolecular crystallography are predominantly taught only traditional crystallographic methods and therefore have little understanding of the methods underlying the modern software that they routinely use in structure determination. This situation arises, at least in part, because maximum likelihood is considered to be too difficult to be taught to students who lack substantial mathematical training within the limited time frame of undergraduate/graduate courses. A method of introducing maximum-likelihood concepts with the help of dice is described here and it is then shown how these concepts can form the core of understanding maximum-likelihood refinement, molecular replacement and experimental phasing. Within the framework described, the crystallographic maximum-likelihood techniques are all reduced to the same basic concepts and become easier and less time-consuming to teach than traditional methods, which rely on disparate concepts.