Statistician Identifies Federalist Authors
A statistical analysis indicates that 10 of the 12 disputed Federalist Papers were probably written by James Madison. "I am inclined to say that Federalist Number 50 seems to be by Madison, and Number 54 is closer to Hamilton," Charles F. Mosteller, Chairman of the Department of Statistics, said last night in a lecture describing his statistical study ascertaining authorship.
Mosteller, summarizing his analyses, begun in 1941 and resumed last summer, described how he struck on the key-word method after standard techniques, such as sentence length and number of repeated adjectives, nouns, etc. had proven unsatisfactory.
For instance, "upon" distinguishes Hamilton, he said, since this word appears with a given frequency in 23 out of 23 Hamilton papers, and only occurs with this frequency in four out of 19 Madison papers.