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the process of mental and often actual breaking down of an object, phenomenon, or process, its properties, or the relations between objects into parts—their features, properties, and relations. The reverse of analysis is synthesis; often the two are combined in thought and action.
Analytical methods are so widespread in science that the term “analysis” often serves as a synonym for research in general, both in the natural and social sciences—for example, quantitative and qualitative analysis in chemistry, diagnostic analysis in medicine, the decomposition of complex movements into their components in mechanics, functional analysis in sociology, and so forth. The procedures of analysis appear as an organic component in every scientific investigation, usually as its first stage, when the investigator passes from a description of the object under examination as a whole to the exposure of its structure, composition, qualities, and features. Analysis retains its significance in other stages of knowledge as well, although then it acts in conjunction with other processes of investigation. Analytical processes are most important not only in scientific thought but in every activity, since it is related to the solution of cognitive problems. As a cognitive process, analysis is studied by psychology, which views it as a psychological process which goes on at various levels of the reflections of reality in the human and animal brain. The theory of knowledge and the methodology of science study analysis primarily as one method for obtaining new cognitive results.
Analysis is already present also at the sensory level of knowledge and, in particular, is included in the processes of sensation and perception; in its simpler forms it is found in animals. However, analysis and synthesis are directly incorporated into external actions of even the higher species. In man, the sensory and external forms of analysis are superimposed by a higher form of analysis—mental, or abstract logical analysis. This form arose together with the skills in the practical taking apart of material objects in the work process; as the work grew more complex, man acquired the ability to anticipate by mental analysis the physical analysis the work required. The development of productive activity, of thought and language, and of the methods of scientific investigation and proof led to the appearance of various forms of cognitive analysis, in particular to the breaking down of objects into the features, characteristics, and relations that are inseparable from them. As distinguished from sensory and physical analysis, cognitive analysis takes place with the aid of notions and statements, expressed in natural languages and in artificial ones—that is, in the symbolic systems of science. On the other hand, analysis itself, working with other methods, serves as a means for forming concepts about reality.
Several forms of analysis can be used in scientific thought. One is the mental breaking down (often, for example, in an experiment, the real breaking down as well) of the whole into its parts. Such analysis, revealing the structure of the whole, presupposes not only that the parts of which the whole consists will be determined but that the relations between them will be determined as well. This is particularly important when the object to be analyzed is considered representative of some class of objects: here analysis serves to establish an identity of structure for objects in that class based on some relationships, so that knowledge obtained in the study of one object could be transferred to others.
Another form is analysis of the common properties of objects and the relations between objects when that property or relation is broken down into its components; some of them are left out and the others submitted to further analysis; in the next stage those previously left out can be analyzed, and so on. As a result of this type of analysis, common properties and relations can be reduced to more generalized and simplified concepts.
Another type of analysis is the division of classes of objects (sets) into subclasses (nonintersecting subsets) of the given set. Such a form of analysis is called classification. All these and other types of analysis are used both in obtaining new knowledge and in the systematization of already obtained scientific results. Analysis is also widely used in pedagogy.
A more specialized understanding of analysis, related to the type described above, is formal and logical analysis. It is a more precise definition of the logical structure of reasoning, brought about by means of contemporary formal logic. Such a definition can apply to both judgments (logical conclusions, proofs, deductions, etc.) and their component parts (concepts, terminology, and statements) as well as to individual fields of knowledge. The construction of formal systems is the most developed form of logical analysis of concrete fields, concepts, and means of reasoning; these systems are interpreted within these fields or with the help of the given concrete concepts—the so-called formalized languages. Logical analysis is one of the basic cognitive methods of science which has especially grown in importance as a result of the development of mathematical logic, cybernetics, semiotics, and information and logic systems.
Analysis is used in another sense in mathematics: here analysis is reasoning that proceeds from what is to be proved (the unidentified, the unknown) to what has already been proved (the previously identified, known), and synthesis is understood as the reverse of this reasoning process. Analysis, in this sense, is a means for revealing the general idea of the proof but in most instances it is not the proof itself. Synthesis, however, relying on data found in the analysis, demonstrates how the problem subject to the proof follows from previously established assertions and gives the proof of the theorem or the solution of the problem.
REFERENCESMamardashvili, M. K. “Protsessy analiza i sinteza.” Voprosy filosofii, 1958, no. 2.
Problemy myshleniia v sovremennoi nauke. Moscow, 1964.
Gorskii, D. P. Problemy obshchei metodologii nauk i dialekticheskoi logiki. Moscow, 1966.
Petrov, Iu. A. “Gnoseologicheskaia rol’formalizovannykh iazykov.” In lazyk i myshlenie. Moscow, 1967.
B. V. BIRIUKOV
computer forensicsThe investigation of a computer system believed to be compromised by cybercrime. Also called "digital forensics," it is used to examine a computer that may harbor incriminating data in non-cybercrime cases.
There is a large variety of forensic software for investigating a suspect PC. Such programs may copy the entire storage drive to another system for inspection, allowing the original to remain unaltered. Another example compares file extensions to the content within the files to determine if they have been camouflaged with phony extensions. For example, an image file might be renamed as a text document and vice versa. In addition, storage drives can be examined for deleted data (see data remanence). The Kali version of Linux is widely used for computer forensics (see Kali).
In order to identify cyberattacks, "network forensics" deals with the capture and inspection of packets passing through a selected node in the network. Packets can be inspected on the fly or stored for later analysis. See hidden disk areas, forensically clean, slack space, write blocker, file wipe, IDS, Internet forensics and security event management software.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology "Guide to Integrating Forensic Techniques into Incident Responses" covers four phases, which are briefly summarized below. For the complete 121-page NIST publication, download draft SP 800-86 at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs.
1 - Collection: Identify, label, record and acquire data from possible sources, while preserving the integrity of the data.
2 - Examination: Use manual and automated methods to assess and extract data of particular interest, while preserving the integrity of the data.
3 - Analysis: Use legally justifiable methods and techniques to derive useful information.
4 - Reporting: Describe actions used, explain how tools and procedures were selected, determine what other actions need to be performed, including forensic examination of additional data sources, securing identified vulnerabilities and improving existing security controls. Recommend improvements to policies, guidelines, procedures, tools and other aspects of the forensic process.