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Statistical Undecidability

3 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2010 Last revised: 28 Dec 2015

Raphael Douady

Riskdata; Stony Brook university ; CES Univ. Paris 1

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

NYU-Tandon School of Engineering

Date Written: October 12, 2010


Using the metadistribution of possible distributions for a given measure, we define a condition under which it is possible to make a decision based on the observation of random variable, which we call "statistical decidability". We provide a sufficient condition on the metadistribution for the decision to be "statistically decidable" and conjecture that decisions based on a metadistribution with non compact support are always "statistically undecidable". There is the need for a strong undefeasable a priori without which decisions are not statistically justified - an effect that is very significant for decisions affected by small probabilities.

Suggested Citation

Douady, Raphael and Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, Statistical Undecidability (October 12, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Raphael Douady

Riskdata ( email )

6, rue de l'Amiral Coligny
Paris, 75001


Stony Brook university ( email )

Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

CES Univ. Paris 1 ( email )

106 bv de l'Hôpital
Paris, 75013

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Contact Author)

NYU-Tandon School of Engineering ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
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