1975 volume 7(3) pages 325 – 347
doi:10.1068/a070325

Cite as:
Smith T E, 1975, "On the relative-frequency interpretation of finite maximum-entropy distributions" Environment and Planning A 7(3) 325 – 347

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On the relative-frequency interpretation of finite maximum-entropy distributions

T E Smith

Received 7 April 1974, in revised form 2 January 1975

Abstract. This paper critically reexamines the Jaynes interpretation of finite maximum-entropy distributions as limits of the 'most likely' relative-frequency distributions consistent with any given prior information. It is shown that while this interpretation is valid in a number of cases, it fails to hold for many types of prior information. Given this limitation, a weaker form of the Jaynes interpretation is proposed which is shown to hold for a wider class of prior information.

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