# Calculation

A **calculation** is a deliberate process that transforms one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change. The term is used in a variety of senses, from the very definite arithmetical calculation of using an algorithm, to the vague heuristics of calculating a strategy in a competition, or calculating the chance of a successful relationship between two people.

For example, multiplying 7 by 6 is a simple algorithmic calculation. Estimating the fair price for financial instruments using the Black–Scholes model is a complex algorithmic calculation.

Statistical estimations of the likely election results from opinion polls also involve algorithmic calculations, but produces ranges of possibilities rather than exact answers.

To *calculate* means to ascertain by computing. The English word derives from the Latin *calculus*, which originally meant a small stone in the gall-bladder (from Latin *calx*). It also meant a pebble used for calculating, or a small stone used as a counter in an abacus (Latin *abacus*, Greek *abax*). The abacus was an instrument used by Greeks and Romans for arithmetic calculations, preceding the slide-rule and the electronic calculator, and consisted of perforated pebbles sliding on an iron bars.

## Comparison to computation

Calculate comes from the **Greek** word *Κάχληκα* or gravel in English because Greeks used gravel for counting. Calculation is a prerequisite for computation.^{[1]} The difference in the meaning of *calculation* and *computation* appears to originate from the late medieval period.^{[2]}

## See also

Look up in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.calculation |

## References

## External links

- "The Lifting of the Veil in the Operations of Calculation" is a manuscript, from the 18th-century, in Arabic, by Ibn al-Banna' al-Marrakushi, about calculation processes