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Calculation

A calculation is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change.

The term is used in a variety of senses, from the very definite [arithmetic] al calculation of using an [algorithm] to the vague [heuristics] of calculating a strategy in a competition or calculating the chance of a successful relationship between two people.

Multiplying 7 by 8 is a simple algorithmic calculation.

Estimating the fair price for [financial instruments] using the [Black-Scholes] model is a complex algorithmic calculation.

[Statistical estimation] s of the likely election results from opinion polls also involve algorithmic calculations, but provide results made up of ranges of possibilities rather than exact answers.

Deciding the best way to build a relationship with a member of the opposite sex may also result from a calculation, but is not definite, predictable, nor even clearly defined. This indefinite application of the term gives it a second area of meaning apart from the [mathematical] senses mentioned above.

To calculate means to ascertain by computing. The English word derives from the [Latin] calculus , which originally meant a small stone in the gall-bladder (from Latin calx ). It also meant a pebble used for calculating, or a small stone used as a counter in an [abacus] (Latin abacus , [Greek] abax ). The abacus was an instrument used by Greeks and Romans for arithmetic calculations, preceding the slide-rule and the electronic calculator, and consisted of perforated pebbles sliding on an iron bars.

See also
- [Abacus]
- [Calculator]
- [Calculus (disambiguation)]
- [Calculability]
- [Computation]
- [Cost accounting]
- [List of algorithms]
- [Mathematics]
- [Mental calculation]
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