Inverse problems

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Inverse problem

To predict the result of a measurement requires (1) a model of the system under investigation, and (2) a physical theory linking the parameters of the model to the parameters being measured. This prediction of observations, given the values of the parameters defining the model constitutes the "normal problem," or, in the jargon of inverse problem theory, the forward problem. The "inverse problem" consists in using the results of actual observations to infer the values of the parameters characterizing the system under investigation.Inverse problems may be difficult to solve for at least two different reasons: (1) different values of the model parameters may be consistent with the data (knowing the height of the main-mast is not sufficient for calculating the age of the captain), and (2) discovering the values of the model parameters may require the exploration of a huge parameter space (finding a needle in a 100-dimensional..

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