I have a conjecture regarding statistical methods:
The probability of a method being used drops by at least a factor of 2 for every parameter that has to be determined by trial-and-error.
A method could have a dozen inputs, and if they’re all intuitively meaningful, it might be adopted. But if there is even one parameter that requires trial-and-error fiddling to set, the probability of use drops sharply. As the number of non-intuitive parameters increases, the probability of anyone other than the method’s author using the method rapidly drops to zero.
John Tukey said that the practical power of a statistical test is its statistical power times the probability that someone will use it. Therefore practical power decreases exponentially with the number of non-intuitive parameters.
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