The bootstrap: a 35 years old young very useful for analyzing biological data

Jorge A. Navarro Alberto

Abstract


In diverse scientific discussion forums and in specialized journals the word “bootstrap” has been mentioned or read. Will it be that for analyzing our data we must use boots with straps for its use as support points for jumping? (How odd…but this is the word for word translation!). In this paper the significance and development of the bootstrap is reviewed as rigorous statistical calculation method for data analysis. The diverse algorithms associated with the estimation by bootstrap intervals are shown and its application with the problem relative to mean estimation is explained. Finally mention is made of the implications and limitations of this method, as well as of the great usefulness it has in biological and agricultural sciences which have adopted it as analysis tool since its invention by Bradley Efron (U. of Stanford) since more than 35 years ago.

Key words: Bootstrap, interval of confidence, biological data,
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