Dichotomy

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This article is about dichotomy in logic and related topics. For usage of "dichotomous" in botany, see Glossary of botanical terms.
An example of a dichotomy is the partition of a scene into figure and ground – the letters are foreground or figure; the rest is the background.

A dichotomy is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts, meaning it is a procedure in which a whole is divided into two parts. It is a partition of a whole (or a set) into two parts (subsets) that are:

Such a partition is also frequently called a bipartition.

The two parts thus formed are complements. In logic, the partitions are opposites if there exists a proposition such that it holds over one and not the other.

Treating continuous variables or multicategorical variables as binary variables is called dichotomization. The discretization error inherent in dichotomization is temporarily ignored for modeling purposes.

Etymology[edit]

The term comes from the Greek διχοτομία dichotomia "dividing in two" from δίχα dicha "in two, asunder" and τομή tome "a cutting, incision".

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Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Komjath, Peter; Totik, Vilmos (2006). "Problems and Theorems in Classical Set Theory". Google Books (Springer Science & Business Media). p. 497. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 

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