Applied Mathematics

Modeling and Simulation

What does a priori refer to in mathematical modeling?

The term a priori refers to the amount of information available in a system. Based on the amount of a priori information, mathematical modeling problems are often classified into white-box (a system in which all necessary information is available) or black-box (a system in which there is no a priori information available) models. Practically all systems are somewhere between the white-box and black-box models; thus, this concept only works as an intuitive guide on how to approach a mathematical problem.


Many different types of data, including air pressure, temperature, humidity, and so on, must be taken into account when constructing computer models of hurricanes.


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