stochastic process

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stochastic process A set of random variables whose values vary with time (or sometimes in space). Examples include populations affected by births and deaths, the length of a queue (see queuing theory), or the amount of water in a reservoir. Stochastic models are models in which random variation is of major importance, in contrast to deterministic models. Stochastic processes give theoretical explanations for many probability distributions, and underly the analysis of time-series data.