Correct term for collating/summarizing/consolidating/inferring from below

Gregor Hagedorn G.Hagedorn at BBA.DE
Wed Mar 12 16:54:12 CET 2003

> For me inference, induction, deduction sound like specific
> methodologies, whereas collate, aggregate and compile correspond to
> the generic process. In other words, you can collate/aggregate/compile
> either by inference, by induction, or by deduction.

I feel uneasy about calling the inheritance or deduction process an
"aggregation" or "compilation". That may be a language point. Also I
would think:

induction = parent properties inferred from multiple children

deduction = child properties inferred from (direct or remote) parents

What then would your definition of "inference" as a third specific
methodology be?

> BTW, if the collate/aggregate/compile processs can be formalised and
> at least expressed as a recomendation in the standard, it becomes
> useless to store its result as it can be reproduced.

Yes and no. Or Perhaps...?

I think we need to explore this up/down topic on the taxonomic tree.
Some information you want to inherit (i.e. child inherits from
parten), other characters you don't because there is you know the
character is too variable. You also want to contradict, but that is
probably automatic if you enter data. However, if you enter data in a
character downwards, you probably want the collation/Inheritance
process to stop, the new data replace things for the entire

In induction: You may have data about 100 specimen. 99 have states 1
or 2, 1 has state 3. You may want to remove state 3 from the
aggregation process. Also: you may have a family where states 1 and 2
can be inferred by aggregation/induction/collation from below. You
know however this family has also members with state 4 (which are
otherwise not in you dataset). Should the aggregation break or should
it be possible to add state 4 and keep 1 and 2 by

Perhaps the process of making informed scientific decisions should be
called the collation process. The algorithmic methods could be called

aggregation = induction of knowledge
inheritance = deduction of knowledge


Gregor Hagedorn (G.Hagedorn at
Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 19          Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

Often wrong but never in doubt!

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