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Analysis means literally to break a complex problem down into smaller, more manageable "independent" parts for the purposes of examination; with the hope that solving these smaller parts will lead to a solution of the more complex problem as well. Although taken for granted as a method of advancing understanding today, this is a relatively recent and important invention of humankind, however it should be noted that roughly parallel concepts within mathematics and logic go back beyond Aristotle. It has been variously been ascribed to Descartes (from his "Discourse on Method", Galileo and Newton as a practical method of physical discovery, and was quite surprising to their contemporaries. See for example NEWTON AND THE METHOD OF ANALYSIS [1].


True and genuine inward certainty does not in the least fear outward analysis, nor does truth resent honest criticism. [2]

Otherwise analysis may refer to:


  • Analytical chemistry, to examine material samples to gain an understanding of their chemical composition
  • Isotope analysis, the identification of isotopic signature, the distribution of certain stable isotopes and chemical elements within chemical compounds
  • Neutron activation analysis, a technique used to very accurately determine the concentrations of elements in a sample

Computer science

  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Competitive analysis (online algorithm), shows how online algorithms perform and demonstrates the power of randomization in algorithms
  • Worst-case execution time, determines the longest time that a piece of software can take to run
  • Program analysis computer science, the process of automatically analysing the behavior of computer programs
  • Static code analysis, the analysis of computer software that is performed without actually executing programs built from that software
  • Syntax analysis, a process in compilers that recognizes the structure of programming languages, also known as parsing
  • Semantic analysis computer science, a pass by a compiler that adds semantical information to the parse tree and performs certain checks
  • Lexical analysis, the process of processing an input sequence of characters and producing as output a sequence of symbols
  • Object-oriented analysis and design, á la Booch
  • Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology, á la Yourdon


  • Cryptanalysis, the study of methods for obtaining the meaning of encrypted information
  • Frequency analysis, a method to decompose a function, wave, or signal into its frequency components


  • Financial analysis, the analysis of the accounts and the economic prospects of a firm
  • Fundamental analysis, a stock valuation method that uses financial analysis
  • Principal components analysis, a technique that can be used to simplify a dataset
  • Technical analysis, the study of price action in securities markets in order to forecast future prices
  • Price Analysis, involves the breakdown of a price to a unit figure
  • Market analysis, consists of suppliers and customers, and price is determined by the interaction of supply and demand


  • Analysis of resistive circuits, deals with electronic circuits containing only resistive elements
  • Dimensional analysis, a conceptual tool to understand physical situations involving a mix of different kinds of physical quantities
  • Accident Analysis, a branch of systems analysis dealing with the analysis of failure
  • Life cycle cost analysis, calculates the cost of a system or product over its entire life span
  • Structural analysis, an area of civil and structural engineering in which the deformations, deflections, internal forces and stresses of structures are analysed
  • System analysis, the branch of electrical engineering that characterizes electrical systems and their properties
  • Systems analysis, the science dealing with analysis of complex, large scale systems and the interactions within those systems
  • Engineering analysis, the application of scientific analytic principles and processes to reveal the properties and state of the system.


  • Discourse analysis, a general term for the analysis of language use above the sentence or clause level
  • Semantic analysis linguistics), the process of unpacking clause, sentence and paragraph structure
  • Voice analysis, the study of speech sounds for purposes other than linguistic content
  • Conversation analysis, the study of talk in interaction

Literary criticism

  • Analysis (Homer), an influential school of thought in Homeric scholarship in the 19th-20th centuries
  • Psychocriticism, Charles Mauron's method based on Freud's own initial interpretations of literary works such as Hamlet


  • Mathematical analysis, the generic name given to any branch of mathematics that depends upon the concepts of limits and convergence
  • Complex analysis
  • Functional analysis
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Non-standard analysis
  • Numerical analysis, the study of algorithms for the problems of continuous mathematics
  • Real analysis
  • Constructivist analysis


  • Musical analysis, a process attempting to answer the question "How does this music work?"


  • Analytic Philosophy is a school of philosophy dominant in the early 20th century.
  • Philosophical analysis, a general term for the techniques used by philosophers
  • Analysis is the name of a prominent journal in philosophy.


  • Psychoanalysis, seeks to elucidate connections among unconscious components of patients' mental processes

Signal processing


  • Analysis of variance (ANOVA), a collection of statistical models and their associated procedures which compare means by splitting the overall observed variance into different parts
  • Meta-analysis, combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses
  • Time-series analysis, methods that attempt to understand a sequence of data points spaced apart at uniform time intervals

May also refer to

  • Aura analysis, a technique in which supporters of the method claim that the body's aura, or energy field is analysed
  • Bowling analysis, a notation summarizing a cricket bowler's performance
  • Lithic analysis, the analysis of stone tools using basic scientific techniques
  • [Protocol analysis, a means for extracting persons' thoughts while they are performing a task

See also