**Least-Squares Analysis**: A principle of estimation in which the estimates of a set of parameters in a statistical model are those quantities minimizing the sum of squared differences between the observed values of a dependent variable and the values predicted by the model.

**Astronomical Processes**: The behavior and interactions of matter and energy in outer space.

**Algorithms**: A procedure consisting of a sequence of algebraic formulas and/or logical steps to calculate or determine a given task.

**Computers**

**Calibration**: Determination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each scale reading on a meter or other measuring instrument; or determination of the settings of a control device that correspond to particular values of voltage, current, frequency or other output.

**Models, Statistical**: Statistical formulations or analyses which, when applied to data and found to fit the data, are then used to verify the assumptions and parameters used in the analysis. Examples of statistical models are the linear model, binomial model, polynomial model, two-parameter model, etc.

**Phantoms, Imaging**: Devices or objects in various imaging techniques used to visualize or enhance visualization by simulating conditions encountered in the procedure. Phantoms are used very often in procedures employing or measuring x-irradiation or radioactive material to evaluate performance. Phantoms often have properties similar to human tissue. Water demonstrates absorbing properties similar to normal tissue, hence water-filled phantoms are used to map radiation levels. Phantoms are used also as teaching aids to simulate real conditions with x-ray or ultrasonic machines. (From Iturralde, Dictionary and Handbook of Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Imaging, 1990)

**Mathematics**: The deductive study of shape, quantity, and dependence. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)

**Computer Simulation**: Computer-based representation of physical systems and phenomena such as chemical processes.

**X-Ray Diffraction**: The scattering of x-rays by matter, especially crystals, with accompanying variation in intensity due to interference effects. Analysis of the crystal structure of materials is performed by passing x-rays through them and registering the diffraction image of the rays (CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, X-RAY). (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)

**HapMap Project**: A coordinated international effort to identify and catalog patterns of linked variations (HAPLOTYPES) found in the human genome across the entire human population.

**Models, Biological**: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.

**Cerium**: An element of the rare earth family of metals. It has the atomic symbol Ce, atomic number 58, and atomic weight 140.12. Cerium is a malleable metal used in industrial applications.

**Reproducibility of Results**: The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.

**Models, Theoretical**: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of systems, processes, or phenomena. They include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.

**Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted**: Methods developed to aid in the interpretation of ultrasound, radiographic images, etc., for diagnosis of disease.

**Likelihood Functions**: Functions constructed from a statistical model and a set of observed data which give the probability of that data for various values of the unknown model parameters. Those parameter values that maximize the probability are the maximum likelihood estimates of the parameters.

**Monte Carlo Method**: In statistics, a technique for numerically approximating the solution of a mathematical problem by studying the distribution of some random variable, often generated by a computer. The name alludes to the randomness characteristic of the games of chance played at the gambling casinos in Monte Carlo. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed, 1993)

**Signal-To-Noise Ratio**: The comparison of the quantity of meaningful data to the irrelevant or incorrect data.

**Fourier Analysis**: Analysis based on the mathematical function first formulated by Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier in 1807. The function, known as the Fourier transform, describes the sinusoidal pattern of any fluctuating pattern in the physical world in terms of its amplitude and its phase. It has broad applications in biomedicine, e.g., analysis of the x-ray crystallography data pivotal in identifying the double helical nature of DNA and in analysis of other molecules, including viruses, and the modified back-projection algorithm universally used in computerized tomography imaging, etc. (From Segen, The Dictionary of Modern Medicine, 1992)

**Regression Analysis**: Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.

**Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared**: A noninvasive technique that uses the differential absorption properties of hemoglobin and myoglobin to evaluate tissue oxygenation and indirectly can measure regional hemodynamics and blood flow. Near-infrared light (NIR) can propagate through tissues and at particular wavelengths is differentially absorbed by oxygenated vs. deoxygenated forms of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Illumination of intact tissue with NIR allows qualitative assessment of changes in the tissue concentration of these molecules. The analysis is also used to determine body composition.

**Artifacts**: Any visible result of a procedure which is caused by the procedure itself and not by the entity being analyzed. Common examples include histological structures introduced by tissue processing, radiographic images of structures that are not naturally present in living tissue, and products of chemical reactions that occur during analysis.

**Data Interpretation, Statistical**: Application of statistical procedures to analyze specific observed or assumed facts from a particular study.

**Image Enhancement**: Improvement of the quality of a picture by various techniques, including computer processing, digital filtering, echocardiographic techniques, light and ultrastructural MICROSCOPY, fluorescence spectrometry and microscopy, scintigraphy, and in vitro image processing at the molecular level.

**Models, Chemical**: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of chemical processes or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.

**Genotyping Techniques**: Methods used to determine individuals' specific ALLELES or SNPS (single nucleotide polymorphisms).

**Statistics as Topic**: The science and art of collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data that are subject to random variation. The term is also applied to the data themselves and to the summarization of the data.

**Principal Component Analysis**: Mathematical procedure that transforms a number of possibly correlated variables into a smaller number of uncorrelated variables called principal components.

**Kinetics**: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.

**Sensitivity and Specificity**: Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)

**Normal Distribution**: Continuous frequency distribution of infinite range. Its properties are as follows: 1, continuous, symmetrical distribution with both tails extending to infinity; 2, arithmetic mean, mode, and median identical; and 3, shape completely determined by the mean and standard deviation.

**Discriminant Analysis**: A statistical analytic technique used with discrete dependent variables, concerned with separating sets of observed values and allocating new values. It is sometimes used instead of regression analysis.

**Linear Models**: Statistical models in which the value of a parameter for a given value of a factor is assumed to be equal to a + bx, where a and b are constants. The models predict a linear regression.

**Nonlinear Dynamics**: The study of systems which respond disproportionately (nonlinearly) to initial conditions or perturbing stimuli. Nonlinear systems may exhibit "chaos" which is classically characterized as sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Chaotic systems, while distinguished from more ordered periodic systems, are not random. When their behavior over time is appropriately displayed (in "phase space"), constraints are evident which are described by "strange attractors". Phase space representations of chaotic systems, or strange attractors, usually reveal fractal (FRACTALS) self-similarity across time scales. Natural, including biological, systems often display nonlinear dynamics and chaos.

**Water**: A clear, odorless, tasteless liquid that is essential for most animal and plant life and is an excellent solvent for many substances. The chemical formula is hydrogen oxide (H2O). (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)

**Models, Molecular**: Models used experimentally or theoretically to study molecular shape, electronic properties, or interactions; includes analogous molecules, computer-generated graphics, and mechanical structures.

**Image Processing, Computer-Assisted**: A technique of inputting two-dimensional images into a computer and then enhancing or analyzing the imagery into a form that is more useful to the human observer.

**Software**: Sequential operating programs and data which instruct the functioning of a digital computer.

**Enzymes**: Biological molecules that possess catalytic activity. They may occur naturally or be synthetically created. Enzymes are usually proteins, however CATALYTIC RNA and CATALYTIC DNA molecules have also been identified.

**Imaging, Three-Dimensional**: The process of generating three-dimensional images by electronic, photographic, or other methods. For example, three-dimensional images can be generated by assembling multiple tomographic images with the aid of a computer, while photographic 3-D images (HOLOGRAPHY) can be made by exposing film to the interference pattern created when two laser light sources shine on an object.

**Tomography, Emission-Computed**: Tomography using radioactive emissions from injected RADIONUCLIDES and computer ALGORITHMS to reconstruct an image.

**Protein Conformation**: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).

**Spectrophotometry, Infrared**: Spectrophotometry in the infrared region, usually for the purpose of chemical analysis through measurement of absorption spectra associated with rotational and vibrational energy levels of molecules. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)

**Blood Chemical Analysis**: An examination of chemicals in the blood.

**Models, Cardiovascular**: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of the cardiovascular system, processes, or phenomena; includes the use of mathematical equations, computers and other electronic equipment.