Least Squares

Least Squares
A statistical method used to determine a line of best fit by minimizing the sum of squares created by a mathematical function. A "square" is determined by squaring the distance between a data point and the regression line. The least squares approach limits the distance between a function and the data points that a function is trying to explain. It is used in regression analysis, often in nonlinear regression modeling in which a curve is fit into a set of data.

The least squares approach is a popular method for determining regression equations. Instead of trying to solve an equation exactly, mathematicians use the least squares to make a close approximation (referred to as a maximum-likelihood estimate). Modeling methods that are often used when fitting a function to a curve include the straight line method, polynomial method, logarithmic method and Gaussian method.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

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  • Least squares — Least Least (l[=e]st), a. [OE. last, lest, AS. l[=ae]sast, l[=ae]sest, superl. of l[=ae]ssa less. See {Less}, a.] [Used as the superlative of little.] Smallest, either in size or degree; shortest; lowest; most unimportant; as, the least insect;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • least squares — least′ squares′ n. sta a statistical method of estimating values from a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the observations and the values to be found Also called least′ squares′ meth od. Etymology …   From formal English to slang

  • least squares — n. a statistical method used to find the curve that most closely approximates a set of data: it is based on minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between expected and observed values of the data …   English World dictionary

  • Least squares — The method of least squares is a standard approach to the approximate solution of overdetermined systems, i.e., sets of equations in which there are more equations than unknowns. Least squares means that the overall solution minimizes the sum of… …   Wikipedia

  • least squares — noun a method of fitting a curve to data points so as to minimize the sum of the squares of the distances of the points from the curve • Syn: ↑method of least squares • Topics: ↑statistics • Hypernyms: ↑statistical method, ↑statistical procedure… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Least Squares — Die Methode der kleinsten Quadrate (bezeichnender auch: der kleinsten Fehlerquadrate; englisch: Least Squares Method) ist das mathematische Standardverfahren zur Ausgleichungsrechnung. Es ist eine Wolke aus Datenpunkten gegeben, die physikalische …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • least squares — Statistics. a method of estimating values from a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the observations and the values to be found. Also called least squares method, method of least squares. [1860 65] …   Universalium

  • Least-squares spectral analysis — (LSSA) is a method of estimating a frequency spectrum, based on a least squares fit of sinusoids to data samples, similar to Fourier analysis. [cite book | title = Variable Stars As Essential Astrophysical Tools | author = Cafer Ibanoglu |… …   Wikipedia

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  • Least-squares estimation of linear regression coefficients — In parametric statistics, the least squares estimator is often used to estimate the coefficients of a linear regression. The least squares estimator optimizes a certain criterion (namely it minimizes the sum of the square of the residuals). In… …   Wikipedia

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