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A result that is not exact but is near enough to the correct result for some specified purpose.
A procedure for obtaining such a result.



replacement of certain mathematical objects by others which are in one sense or another close to the initial objects. Approximation makes it possible to study the numerical characteristics and qualitative properties of the object, reducing the problem to a study of simpler or more convenient objects—for example, objects whose characteristics are easily computed or whose properties are already known. The theory of numbers studies Diophantine approximations—in particular, approximations of irrational numbers by rational numbers. Approximations of curves, surfaces, spaces, and mappings are investigated in geometry and topology. Some branches of mathematics are wholly devoted to approximations, as, for example, the approximation and interpolation of functions and numerical methods of analysis. The role of approximation in mathematics is continually growing. Presently, approximation can be viewed as one of the basic concepts of mathematics.


References in periodicals archive ?
We have the finance in place for everything except elements of the Village and broadcast centre," Armitt told the BBC, adding that a ball park figure for the shortfall was between $344 and $430 million.
He said: "pounds 100,000 is a ball park figure that they (Kirklees Highways Department) used because to adopt the road we've first got to put drains in.
It's much better to establish a ball park figure, at the start of a project than to fix the budget first and then work around it"
A 2005 spec Aprilia RSV Mille can be yours for pounds 8,572, which is right in the ball park figure for a one-litre sports bike.
We'd like to find a relatively inexpensive way to get a ball park figure.
Treasurer Nigel Thomas told authority members: ``That's very much a ball park figure based on an intelligent guess.