Chapter 16.2 The maximum‐entropy method

Crystallography of biological macromolecules

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 16. Direct methods

  1. G. Bricogne

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000690

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Bricogne, G. 2006. The maximum‐entropy method. International Tables for Crystallography. F:16:16.2:346–351.

Author Information

  1. Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, Cambridge CB2 2QH, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006



The maximum‐entropy principle is discussed in a general context, and its adaptation to crystallography is described. There is an intimate connection between the maximum‐entropy method and an enhancement of the probabilistic techniques of conventional direct methods known as the ‘saddlepoint method’.


  • direct methods;
  • Jaynes’ maximum‐entropy principle;
  • maximum entropy;
  • random‐atom model;
  • recentring;
  • saddlepoint method;
  • source entropy