English translation: mean, estimation of the mean, estimated mean
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French to English translations [PRO] Social Sciences - Mathematics & Statistics / Whale population counting
French term or phrase:estimation moyenne
I'm confused as to whether this should be the mean or the average estimate. And is there a difference between estimate and estimation?
Context:
"L’incertitude autour de l’estimation d’abondance est aussi un point essentiel d’information, car c’est souvent la borne inférieure de l’intervalle de confiance autour de l’estimation moyenne qui, par mesure de précaution, sera retenue en matière de gestion."
Explanation: Estimate and estimation are subtly different, but not so that a layman would notice! "mean" tends to be used by statisticians more than "average". "average estimate" doesn't really mean much!
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 8 mins (2008-05-02 09:22:47 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
The mean, especially in whale populations, is always a sample estimate, since the entire population of all whales is virtually impossible to measure.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 4 hrs (2008-05-02 13:55:22 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
PS, NewCal, the mean is NOT (in general) halfway between the extreme values - that's the median. Only for symmetric distributions, such as the normal (ie Gaussian) are the mean and median the same. Similarly, the mode is not generally half-way, but only in symmetric distributions. The modal income in the UK is about 15k (ie most frequent) but the average (ie mean) is over 25k on account of city slickers shifting the C of G to the right.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 7 hrs (2008-05-02 16:47:49 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
Dana, to avoid confusion (!) over estimation or estimated, it may be best just to avoid this word since, by definition, the sample mean of a whale population is an estimate, and therefore understood. The idea here is that it is best to use the lower bound of the confidence interval (somewhere there will be a "level of significance", eg 1%) to get a conservative estimate of (presumably) whale numbers, as opposed to an optimistic estimated based on the upper confidence bound.
For anyone who hasn't slashed his or her wrists yet, the reference below is a good description of sampling from a population, including a definition of confidence limits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student's_t-distribution. Let's hope this discussion is finally put to bed!
On reflection, "estimated mean" in the context is better than "estimation of the mean".
Is this for a technical publication of some level - addressed in part perhaps to a statistically knowledgeable audience, or intended for naturalists - or for the general public?
The sentence is talking about a confidence interval about a *parameter*, which is a number.
I've never heard a native-English-speaking statistician refer to a number as an estimation rather than an estimate. Estimation is the process used to obtain an estimate -- or one's opinion about someone or something.<g>
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 1 hr (2008-05-02 10:33:47 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
The only real difference between 'mean' and 'average' is that one word sounds more mathematical than the other. Even with 'mean', you still have to specify whether it is arithmetic, geometric, harmonic, or whatever.
'Average' belongs to general vocabulary. What people think is 'average' may often be the mode or the median rather than the mean.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 8 hrs (2008-05-02 17:50:40 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
You can say "mean estimate" if you like ('mean' being an adjective as well).
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 11 hrs (2008-05-02 20:33:36 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
And this: "Best linear unbiased estimates depend on estimating the mean function. Consistency is concerned with the estimated mean converging to the true mean so that ..."
rkillings United States Local time: 11:08 Works in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 28
Notes to answerer
Asker: Note to NewCal: yet they get 52,200 and 493,000 Google hits respectively!
They're talking about an average estimate given regarding the whale population. No one knows for sure what it is. So, a confidance scale range is devised in reference to the final estimated average. In this case, they usually go by the lowest value on the confidance scale range for determining how to manage the whale population.
Example: Suppose that the whale population average is estimated at 8000, and 50 researchers are asked on a scale of 1-10 how confidant they are regarding this estimate. Now after having gathered the opinions of all the researchers, suppose the final confidance scale ranges from 5-8. As * 5 * is now the lowest value on this range, it will end up being used in the formula for determining how to manage the whale population.
I don't see much of a difference between "estimation" and "estimate." I think they are synonyms, aren't they? I prefer "estimate", though.
I hope this helps.
MatthewLaSon Local time: 14:08 Works in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 4
Explanation: Estimate and estimation are subtly different, but not so that a layman would notice! "mean" tends to be used by statisticians more than "average". "average estimate" doesn't really mean much!
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 8 mins (2008-05-02 09:22:47 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
The mean, especially in whale populations, is always a sample estimate, since the entire population of all whales is virtually impossible to measure.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 4 hrs (2008-05-02 13:55:22 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
PS, NewCal, the mean is NOT (in general) halfway between the extreme values - that's the median. Only for symmetric distributions, such as the normal (ie Gaussian) are the mean and median the same. Similarly, the mode is not generally half-way, but only in symmetric distributions. The modal income in the UK is about 15k (ie most frequent) but the average (ie mean) is over 25k on account of city slickers shifting the C of G to the right.
-------------------------------------------------- Note added at 7 hrs (2008-05-02 16:47:49 GMT) --------------------------------------------------
Dana, to avoid confusion (!) over estimation or estimated, it may be best just to avoid this word since, by definition, the sample mean of a whale population is an estimate, and therefore understood. The idea here is that it is best to use the lower bound of the confidence interval (somewhere there will be a "level of significance", eg 1%) to get a conservative estimate of (presumably) whale numbers, as opposed to an optimistic estimated based on the upper confidence bound.
For anyone who hasn't slashed his or her wrists yet, the reference below is a good description of sampling from a population, including a definition of confidence limits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student's_t-distribution. Let's hope this discussion is finally put to bed!
On reflection, "estimated mean" in the context is better than "estimation of the mean".