First, if all went well, they might just solve one of the longest lasting mysteries about the founding fathers.
But second, and of equal importance to the two mathematicians, the project gave them an opportunity to take a promising, if controversial, approach to statistical inference out for a spin. Since the early 20th century, the field of statistics had been oriented around a certain view of probability.
If they are, then you stick to your initial assumption. If they are sufficiently inconsistent, then the statistician rejects his initial hypothesis and adopts a new one: the coin is probably phony. Rather than start off with a fixed idea of how the world is and then ask how consistent the evidence is with that worldview, the Bayesian approach starts off with evidence and then look around for a worldview that matches. The results of an experiment do not reject or accept a given hypothesis, they provide relative probabilities that something is one way or another—say, the odds that a particular essay was written by Alexander Hamilton or James Madison.
Here, at last, was an opportunity.
It is easy to figure this out because the article was written on a computer in These were then alphabetized by hand. We had many helpers with this. The process took months. Every once in awhile, someone would open a door too quickly, sending a gust of air through the room and setting everyone back a few days. These are words that people use all the time and more or less equally from one context to the next, regardless of the topic. In the majority of the 50 Madison essays measured, that founding father did not use the word at all.
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The 49 Hamilton papers clocked in at an average rate of 3. In other words, a low "upon" count in a disputed paper would boost the odds that Madison was the author, while a high count tipped the scales towards Hamilton. This information was then used to update the odds assigned to either author. Mosteller and Wallace would then feed in another word, which would be used to update the odds again. How reliable were these odds? To find out, the two statisticians set the model loose on 22 essays which were known to have been written by Hamilton and Madison.
The method accurately predicted the authorship of each one. James Madison didn't use the word "upon" much. Incidentally, neither did the author of the disputed papers. Data: Mosteller and Wallace , who used 99 papers for these data, 50 from Madison and 49 from Hamilton. Finally, it was time to test the dozen disputed papers.
With apologies to fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the results all pointed in the same direction: James Madison was almost certainly the author of all twelve. Of course, even with odds as high as What if the stray bits of paper had been miscounted by a sleep-deprived graduate student in a way to skew the results just so?
What if the authors themselves were perpetuating a hoax? All of these outcomes are unlikely, but they are all surely more likely than Writing about the study in September of , a journalist from Time seemed to agree.
Mosteller and Wallace put a year old mystery to rest, but they also pioneered the use of applied Bayesian statistics and launched a new field of text analysis. Though there had been previous attempts to statistically analyze text, none had been so academically rigorous, mathematically complex, or exhaustive. In the years since, computationally-assisted statistical authorship attribution has become a cottage industry.
The text analysis that verified this long-suspected collaboration has its roots in the work of Mosteller and Wallace. Since , similar treatment has been given to Mormon scripture , to a work falsely attributed to Mark Twain , to one of L.
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Each of these subsequent attempts has agreed with Mosteller and Wallace. The journalist reached out to Patrick Juola from Duquesne University. Rather than hand-pick the best discriminators, as Mosteller and Wallace painstakingly did in their Federalist Papers study, JGAAP selects these linguist fingerprints automatically. And while Mosteller and Wallace took years to complete their study, Juola was able to turn around his J.
Rowling analysis in a matter of hours. According to the model, the chances that any author picked at random would match so consistently with Galbraith without actually being Galbraith were roughly 1-in In any case, the day after the Times published the article, Rowling fessed up. Rowling, a. Robert Galbraith. Image: Daniel Ogren. A few years ago, Juola took a call from an attorney representing someone applying for asylum status.
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Though these articles were written anonymously, the journalist was now concerned that the government had learned of their true authorship. The journalist now needed to prove to the United States Customs and Immigration Service that he or she had written the anonymous articles and thus deserved of political asylum.
As in the Rowling case, the results were suggestive, if not conclusive. JGAAP put the odds somewhere between a 2. Using statistical analysis to rescue a writer from political repression and score a win for freedom of expression?
No doubt both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison would have been proud. Our next article asks whether Obamacare could learn a thing or two from doggie health insurance. Can't make it to San Francisco? There's also a remote streaming option. Learn how to create content marketing that performs.
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Turn your company data into content marketing people actually like. In Data We Trust. Published Oct 31, by Ben Christopher. Shimmer Lake A feature film. Location: Throughout the City. Sicilian Vampire Location: Various. Suicide Squad A feature film about a secret government agency that recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. The Bad Mother A dramatic comedy film about a woman who leaves her career to raise kids and gets caught in the battle of work versus family.
Location: Small scene on the beach strip and a few scenes in the east end. A true story about how the Boston Globe uncovered a scandal that rocked the Catholic Church to its core. Skip to main content Skip to footer.
Read more about what's open and what's closed on Canada Day Weekend Back to Filming in Hamilton. Other Services Available Music in Hamilton. Below are some highlights of productions that filmed here in Name of Production Synopsis Filming Location Stars Designated Survivor A low-level Cabinet member becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the line of succession.
When Dr. Sam Radford moves in next door to Grey House with his son, they are charmed by the 'magical' mother-daughter duo. We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. Luther Swann enters a world of horror when a virus is released in ice melting due to climate change. This disease transforms many into murderous predators who feed on human brain.
Designated Survivor Kiefer Sutherland stars in this primetime drama where a low-ranking member of the Cabinet becomes President of the United States after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession. Canadian real estate enthusiasts Pamela Gorrie, Sandi Ryan, and Steve Kowalyshyn Forbidden 3: Dying for Love A tv show that uses re-enactments and interviews with survivors to tell the true life stories of men and women who died because of their love for another.
When their pasts coming back to haunt them, they will have to work hard to keep themselves, and their friends, alive. North End, Flamborough Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore, Luke Macfarlane Lucky Day Red, a safe cracker who has just been released from prison, is trying to hold his family together as his past catches up with him in the form of Luc, a psychopathic contract killer who's seeking revenge for the death of his brother.
American Gods Based on the award winning novel by Neil Gaiman, American Gods, follows Shadow, a recently released ex-convict, who meets a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Location: Westover Road, Flamborough. Dark Matter A TV series that follows the six person crew of a derelict spaceship that awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Leads: Catherine Bell and Adrian Holmes. Location: East Mountain? Hamilton Aviary Scottish Rite. Location: Lower Burlington Street East. Leads: Vin Diesel, Samuel L. Leads: Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam.
Location: Downtown core, Waterfront, North end. Location: East end, Downtown, Locke Street neighbourhood. Locations: North end, Corktown neighbourhood,near Bayfront Park,. Location: Downtown mostly on private property. Location: Private location in Binbrook, Barton Street. Leads: Abbie Cornish, Dermot Mulroney. Motives and Murders TV series - Season 4. Paranormal Survivor TV series - Season 2. Leads: Linda Thorson, Stuart Margolin. The Secret Life of Mrs. Claus A Hallmark TV movie.
Leads: Bridget Fonda, Jessica Tandy. Leads: D. Sweeney, Moira Kelly. Date modified:
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