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Stochastic, from the Greek "stochos" or "goal", means of, relating to, or characterized by conjecture; conjectural; random. The antonym is astochastic.

A stochastic process is one whose behavior is non-deterministic in that the next state of the environment is partially but not fully determined by the previous state of the environment.

Stochastic process

In the mathematics of probability, a stochastic process is a random function. In the most common applications, the domain over which the function is defined is a time interval (a stochastic process of this kind is called a time series in applications) or a region of space (a stochastic process being called a random field).

Familiar examples of time series include stock market and exchange rate fluctuations, signals such as speech, audio and video; medical data such as a patient's EKG, EEG, blood pressure or temperature; and random movement such as Brownian motion or random walks. Examples of random fields include static images, random topographies (landscapes), or composition variations of an inhomogeneous material.