Concept

# Least squares

Summary
The method of least squares is a standard approach in regression analysis to approximate the solution of overdetermined systems (sets of equations in which there are more equations than unknowns) by minimizing the sum of the squares of the residuals (a residual being the difference between an observed value and the fitted value provided by a model) made in the results of each individual equation. The most important application is in data fitting. When the problem has substantial uncertainties in the independent variable (the x variable), then simple regression and least-squares methods have problems; in such cases, the methodology required for fitting errors-in-variables models may be considered instead of that for least squares. Least squares problems fall into two categories: linear or ordinary least squares and nonlinear least squares, depending on whether or not the residuals are linear in all unknowns. The linear least-squares problem occurs in statistical regression analysis;
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