# Probability of a given data set given the parameters

1. Jul 22, 2008

### tronter

Why do we look at the probability of a given data set given the parameters, as opposed to the probability of the parameters given the data set?

So $$y(x) = y(x;a_{1} \ldots a_{M})$$

2. Jul 23, 2008

### HallsofIvy

Staff Emeritus
Re: Mle

I'm not sure I understand your question. In "Probability" we always assume we are given some basic probability distribution- i.e. the parameters of some general distribution (such as the normal distribution). The problems in probability then are generally, "given the parameters of the probability distribution, determine the probability of various outcomes (i.e. the data set)".

Probabilty is then used as the theory behind "Statistics" in which we do just the opposite: given an outcome (data set) try to estimate the parameters of the probability distribution.

3. Jul 24, 2008