The main content of this review article is first to review the main inference tools using Bayes rule, the maximum entropy principle (MEP), information theory, relative entropy and the Kullback–Leibler (KL) divergence, Fisher information and its corresponding geometries. For each of these tools, the precise context of their use is described. The second part of the paper is focused on the ways these tools have been used in data, signal and image processing and in the inverse problems, which arise in different physical sciences and engineering applications. A few examples of the applications are described: entropy in independent components analysis (ICA) and in blind source separation, Fisher information in data model selection, different maximum entropy-based methods in time series spectral estimation and in linear inverse problems and, finally, the Bayesian inference for general inverse problems. Some original materials concerning the approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) and, in particular, the variational Bayesian approximation (VBA) methods are also presented. VBA is used for proposing an alternative Bayesian computational tool to the classical Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. We will also see that VBA englobes joint maximum a posteriori (MAP), as well as the different expectation-maximization (EM) algorithms as particular cases.
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