I am describing a new experimental method in a research paper, which has the benefit that all of the input parameters are not arbitrary and are instead determined using basic principles from the available data. As in my subject heading, is there a good word for this? A sample sentence would be "We propose a new ________ method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in existing approaches."
We propose a new well-founded method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in existing approaches.
Based on excellent reasoning, information, judgment, or grounds m-w
If you say that a report, opinion, or feeling is well-founded, you mean that it is based on facts and can therefore be justified. Collins
Having a foundation in fact; based on good reasons, information, etc. dictionary.com
Ecotoxicological studies, especially those concerned with biological monitoring and standardisation of..., are exceedingly difficult in the absence of a uniform, well-founded experimental procedure and quantitative treatment of the results obtained. S. A. Patin; Pollution and the Biological Resources of the Oceans
However, to the best of our knowledge no systematic ways, i.e. based on a well-founded methodology and guiding principles, for building geospatial ontologies have been proposed so far. C. Claramunt et al; GeoSpatial Semantics: 4th International Conference
And a poorly designed experiment leads to a weak scientific result—even the most sophisticated method of analysis cannot change that. On the other hand, a particularly well-qualified cook can still get "that certain something" out of a good recipe and a well-founded analytical method can derive an even more significant scientific insight from a well-design experiment. J. Weimann and J. Brosig-Koch; Methods in Experimental Economics
3. Extremely detailed and thorough; precise, or concerned with precision; strictly accurate or exact.
1651 T. Hobbes Leviathan i. viii. 34 In Demonstration..and all rigourous Search of Truth, Judgement does all.
1954 H. Becker in H. Becker et al. For Sci. Social Man v. 147 It was so rigorous in method that it still serves as a reprimanding example to those who think that ‘description is easy’.
2003 G. J. Dorrien Making Amer. Liberal Theol. 1900–50 iv. 265 Wieman lectured that in the rigorous sense of the term, all knowledge is scientific.
The term grounded is well-suited for the purpose,
give (something abstract) a firm theoretical or practical basis
with a little tweaking of your example sentence. A minor variation would be:
We propose a novel, well grounded method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in existing approaches.
The term's typical use requires a bit more massaging, but I think it accomplishes your goal.
We propose a novel method that has a well grounded theoretical basis, and does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in current approaches.
In the physics community, ab initio, Latin for "from the beginning", is widely used to describe research methods built on universal constants rather than arbitrary parameters. It's Latin, but perhaps it's ubiquitous enough to be considered a loanword to English.
For example: ab initio nuclear methods or ab initio quantum methods. A search for "ab initio" on the arXiv, the major preprint server used for physics papers, yields thousands of titles including "ab initio".
You might say
We propose a new ab initio method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in existing approaches.
I would say robust:
strong and effective in all or most situations and conditions:
The system requires robust passwords that contain at least one number or symbol. Our goal is to devise robust statistical methods.
Your example sentence would become:
- We propose a new robust method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in existing approaches.*
This is extremely common phrasing in the literature when talking about statistics, mathematics, experiments, computer systems, etc.
If you want to emphasize its opposition to "arbitrary," you've already got a great root word in "method." I suggest "methodological," though you wouldn't want to say "methodological method," so maybe change the noun to "approach," "system," etc.
- methodological: "of, relating to, or following the system of methods, principles, and rules that regulate a given discipline" (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/methodological)
This will probably depend on the context, but what about parameter-free?
I don't know what your field and the specific context are, but this is the first thing that came to mind when reading your question. Since for your model/method the (former) parameters are now determined from the data, they are fixed for a given dataset and you might not consider then parameters anymore. So you could have a "parameter-free method".
This is really a question about specialized scientific jargon, not about English in general. As such, you should really consult an experienced researched in your field, or review relevant literature to find out what, if any, established term exists for this concept. Any general answers from non-experts are likely to sound wrong or at least unusual to someone familiar with the established terminology in your field of study.
You also haven't specified what your field of research is. From context and phrasing, I'm willing to guess that it's either applied math or statistics, or (probably more likely) some field of experimental or theoretical science that makes heavy use of numerical and statistical tools. But that's about as close as I can get. This makes your question difficult to answer even if one happened to be familiar with it, since it's quite possible for different fields to use different terminology.
That said, since I do happen to have some familiarity with numerical methods and their applications, let me suggest a few possible terms that might work. As it happens, all of these have already been suggested in other answers (some posted while I was typing this), but I figure I should include them for completeness:
"Parameter-free", as suggested by Asier R., would be the obvious choice, and is used quite widely for methods like you seem to describe. Of course, this term is strictly appropriate only if your method in fact requires no arbitrary parameters, rather than just fewer of them than usual methods. If it still needs some, I guess you could always call it "quasi-parameter-free"…
"Ab initio", as suggested by mbdeaton, has a specific established meaning within nuclear physics and related fields such as quantum chemistry. Its meaning is somewhat orthogonal to "parameter-free", and indeed one can find plenty of articles using both terms, but it does involve the same general goal of avoiding the need for arbitrary choices or assumptions by relying exclusively on fundamental physical principles. That said, I would not use this term unless you're working in a field where it is an established term of art, and your method falls within its generally accepted scope in that field.
"Rigorous" (suggested by Greybeard) and "theory-based" (suggested by Vaelus) also both have specific connotations that go beyond "requiring no arbitrarily chosen parameters". If your method in fact is rigorous (in the sense of being provably correct and making no unjustified assumptions) or based on theory (rather than empirical results), by all means use them. If not, don't.
However, it's also possible that there is no exact term for the concept you seek, and it's also possible that you don't need one. "We propose a new method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection" is a perfectly fine sentence, after all, even without any adjective between "new" and "method".
(adj) theory-based (based in theory rather than experiment)1
"We propose a new theory-based method that does not suffer from the arbitrariness of parameter selection that is common in existing approaches."
A method that is "based on sound principles" is principled:
exhibiting, based on, or characterized by principle (Merriam-Webster)
But it must be done in a principled and clear-eyed way. — Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 23 Aug. 2021
Based on a set of rules. (Wiktionary)
While most of these efforts have focused on compressing the uplink, none of them provide a principled solution to compressing the downlink.
Principled can also have the meaning of "moral, honest," but as a description of a method in a scientific paper, most readers should interpret it as passing judgment only on the soundness of the method.
Is a word commonly used in the field of mathematics for describing ideas/theorems etc. which are based on sound principles. Although it may sound contradicting when you consider mathematics is probably the field the with most certain assertions, in the old times, mathematicians sometimes relied on "humanly intuitions" rather than solid mathematical principles. As the field of mathematics has been further improved people started to address this issue and they started to explicitly declare their work as rigorous, which is to say that their work didn't rely upon the so called humanly intuitions.
It might sound boastful for you to call your own work this, but an elegant method in science or mathematics is one with “scientific precision, neatness, and simplicity.”
This wouldn’t apply if your method is extremely complex, tedious or unintuitive. A phrase that might fit better in that case is, from first principles or derived from first principles.