random (ran´dom)

Governed by chance; used of a process in which the outcome is indeterminate but may assume any of set of values (the domain) with probabilities specifiable in advance. While the random process is widely used in probability theory, empirical justification for the term is more complicated. The minimum requirement is that repeated realization of the process will settle down to a stable distribution or, if not metrical, a stable set of frequencies if the trait is classifiable only. See random mechanism. [M.E. randon, speed, errancy, fr. O. Fr. randir, to run, fr. Germanic]


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