# Extensive Definition

A calculation is a deliberate process for
transforming 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
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.

Multiplying 7 by 8 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 give results that are
ranges of possibilities rather than exact answers.

Deciding the best way to build a relationship
with a member of the opposite sex may also result from a
calculation, but is not definite, predictable, nor even clearly
defined. This indefinite application of the term gives it a second
area of meaning apart from the mathematical senses
mentioned above.

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.

## See also

calculability in German: Rechnen

calculability in Spanish: Cálculo
aritmético

calculability in French: Calcul
(mathématiques)

calculability in Galician: Cálculo

calculability in Korean: 계산

calculability in Interlingua (International
Auxiliary Language Association): Calculo (mathematica)

calculability in Italian: Calcolo
(matematica)

calculability in Hebrew: חישוב

calculability in Latin: Calculus

calculability in Japanese: 計算

calculability in Russian: Вычисление

calculability in Volapük: Kalkulam

calculability in Contenese: 計算

calculability in Chinese: 计算