DEFINITION of 'Least Squares'
A statistical method used to determine a line of best fit by minimizing the sum of squares created by a mathematical function. A "square" is determined by squaring the distance between a data point and the regression line. The least squares approach limits the distance between a function and the data points that a function is trying to explain. It is used in regression analysis, often in nonlinear regression modeling in which a curve is fit into a set of data.
INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Least Squares'
The least squares approach is a popular method for determining regression equations. Instead of trying to solve an equation exactly, mathematicians use the least squares to make a close approximation (referred to as a maximumlikelihood estimate). Modeling methods that are often used when fitting a function to a curve include the straight line method, polynomial method, logarithmic method and Gaussian method.

Residual Sum Of Squares  RSS
A statistical technique used to measure the amount of variance ... 
Sum Of Squares
A statistical technique used in regression analysis. The sum ... 
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The stepbystep iterative construction of a regression model ... 
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A type of mathematical analysis involving the use of quantified ... 
Autoregressive
A stochastic process used in statistical calculations in which ... 
Regression
A statistical measure that attempts to determine the strength ...
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