Stochastic Process

In the mathematics of probability, a stochastic [stuh-kas-tikprocess is a random function, such as stock market and exchange rate fluctuations; signals such as speech, audio, and video; medical data such as a patient’s EKG, EEG, blood pressure, or temperature; and random movement such as Brownian motion (random moving of particles suspended in a fluid) or random walks (random, computer generated paths).

Other examples of random fields include static images, random topographies (landscapes), or composition variations of an inhomogeneous material. The stochastic process is the probabilistic counterpart to deterministic systems (in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system). Instead of describing a process which can only evolve in one way, in a stochastic or random process there is some indeterminacy: even if the initial condition (or starting point) is known, there are several (often infinitely many) directions in which the process may evolve.

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