Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.
A computer architecture, implementable in either hardware or software, modeled after biological neural networks. Like the biological system in which the processing capability is a result of the interconnection strengths between arrays of nonlinear processing nodes, computerized neural networks, often called perceptrons or multilayer connectionist models, consist of neuron-like units. A homogeneous group of units makes up a layer. These networks are good at pattern recognition. They are adaptive, performing tasks by example, and thus are better for decision-making than are linear learning machines or cluster analysis. They do not require explicit programming.
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.
A quantitative method of combining the results of independent studies (usually drawn from the published literature) and synthesizing summaries and conclusions which may be used to evaluate therapeutic effectiveness, plan new studies, etc., with application chiefly in the areas of research and medicine.