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"to predict the future is to perform an operation on the past," Norbert Wiener. "The essential point is that the agent in the act of prediction depends wholly on the actual past and not in the least on the actual future." (Ashby, "Induction, Prediction, and Decision-Making in Cybernetic Systems")
Literally, "knowing something outside the range of an observer's experiences". Minimally, prediction is a mere extrapolation of given data into the future (forecasting) or into the past (retrodiction) (see estimation). It is usually justified by reference to general theories or models which serve as the basis for drawing inferences from available data to phenomena outside their range. Thus, predictions are the conclusions drawn from the premise of available data using theories and models as a kind of syllogistic device (see simulation) . (Krippendorff)
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