Concept

# Conditional expectation

Summary
In probability theory, the conditional expectation, conditional expected value, or conditional mean of a random variable is its expected value – the value it would take "on average" over an arbitrarily large number of occurrences – given that a certain set of "conditions" is known to occur. If the random variable can take on only a finite number of values, the "conditions" are that the variable can only take on a subset of those values. More formally, in the case when the random variable is defined over a discrete probability space, the "conditions" are a partition of this probability space. Depending on the context, the conditional expectation can be either a random variable or a function. The random variable is denoted E(X\mid Y) analogously to conditional probability. The function form is either denoted E(X\mid Y=y) or a separate function symbol such as f(y) is introduced with the meaning E(X\mid Y) = f(Y). Examples
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