Algorithmic Probability

  • Ming LiEmail author
  • Paul Vitányi
Part of the Texts in Computer Science book series (TCS)


P. S. Laplace (1749–1827) pointed out the following reason why intuitively, a regular outcome of a random event is unlikely: “We arrange in our thought all possible events in various classes; and we regard as extraordinary those classes which include a very small number. In the game of heads and tails, if heads comes up a hundred times in a row then this appears to us extraordinary, because the almost infinite number of combinations that can arise in a hundred throws are divided in regular sequences, or those in which we observe a rule that is easy to grasp, and in irregular sequences, that are incomparably more numerous.”


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Copyright information

© Ming Li and Paul Vitányi 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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