Akaike information criterion, curve-fitting, and the philosophical problem of simplicity

The philosophical significance of the procedure of applying Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) to curve-fitting problems is evaluated. The theoretical justification for using AIC (the so-called Akaike's theorem) is presented in a rigorous way, and its range of validity is assessed by presenting both instances in which it is valid and counter-examples in which it is invalid. The philosophical relevance of the justification that this result gives for making one particular choice between simple and complicated hypotheses is emphasized. In addition, recent claims that the methods based on Akaike's theorem are relevant to other philosophical problems associated with the notion of simplicity are presented and evaluated
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/48.1.21
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John R. Welch (2013). New Tools for Theory Choice and Theory Diagosis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 44 (3):318-329.
Rhonda Martens (2009). Harmony and Simplicity: Aesthetic Virtues and the Rise of Testability. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (3):258-266.

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