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Complex Problems Solved Using Bayesian Methods

Throughout history, Bayesian methods have helped solve complex problems that were unsolvable by other means1,2:

  • During World War II, they were used to decode the German Enigma cipher and turn the tides of war
  • The US Navy used them to search for a missing H-bomb and locate Soviet subs
  • Insurance actuaries used them to set insurance rates
  • They were used in court to demonstrate the innocence of Captain Dreyfus
  • RAND corporation used them to assess the likelihood of a nuclear accident
  • Harvard and Chicago researchers used them to verify the authorship of the Federalist Papers
  • In medicine they were used to first establish the link between smoking and lung cancer


1.      A History of Bayes’ Theorem

2.    McGrayne, S. The Theory That Would Not Die

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