Algorithmic Probability

  • Ming Li
  • 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.” [Laplace]


Infinite Sequence Code Word Kolmogorov Complexity Computable Measure Fair Coin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cheriton School of Computer ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Centrum voor Wiskunde en InformaticaAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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