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# Numerical integration

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**Numerical integration** is the term used for a number of methods to find an approximation for an integral. Numerical integration has also been called **quadrature**. Very often, it is not possible to solve integration analytically, for example when the data consists of a number of distinct measurements, or when the antiderivative is not known, and it is difficult, impractical or impossible to find it. In such cases, the integral can be written as a mathematical function defined over the interval in question, plus a function giving the error.

One way to find a numerical integral is using interpolation. Very often these interpolating functions are polynomials.