The Formula of Thomas Bayes and Other Matters

  • Richard Isaac
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Mathematics book series (UTM)


There is a blood test for the HIV virus causing AIDS. This test is quite good in the sense that if an individual has the virus the probability of detection is high. How is such a probability estimated? As we have mentioned before, the Law of Large Numbers soon to be discussed justifies our intuitive notion that a probability can be estimated by considering relative frequencies. So in this case we can give the test to a large population where we know the disease, and therefore the virus, is present. If the test is positive for, say, 95 percent of this population, we can say that.95 is a rough estimate for what is called the sensitivity of the test, defined as P(test ispositive/disease is present).


Prior Distribution Subjective Probability Repeatable Event Repeatable Type White Ball 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Isaac
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsLehman College, City University of New YorkBronxUSA
  2. 2.The Graduate CenterNew YorkUSA

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