Curse of dimensionality, Advanced Statistics

The phrase first spoken by one of the witches in Macbeth. Now this is used to describe the exponential rise in the number of possible locations in the multivariate space as dimensionality increases. Thus the single binary variable has the two probable values, a 10-dimensional binary vector has over the thousand possible values and a 20-dimensional binary vector over the million possible values. This implies that sample sizes should be increase exponentially with the dimension in order to maintain the constant average sample size in the cells of space. Another consequence is that, for the multivariate normal distribution, the vast mass of the probability lies far from the centre of it if the dimensionality is large.

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