interpolation


interpolation

In mathematics, estimation of a value between two known data points. A simple example is calculating the mean (see mean, median, and mode) of two population counts made 10 years apart to estimate the population in the fifth year. Estimating outside the data points (e.g., predicting the population five years after the second population count) is called extrapolation. If more than two data points are available, a curve may fit the data better than a line. The simplest curve that fits is a polynomial curve. Exactly one polynomial of any given degree—an interpolating polynomial—passes through any number of data points.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on interpolation, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up interpolation? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More