The year 1825 was a significant one not only for actuaries but for the wider scientific community: Benjamin Gompertz published his landmark paper on the graduation of human mortality (Gompertz, 1825). There were at least three completely new ideas in his paper. First, he gave his famous law of mortality. To quote Gompertz:
When fitting a mortality model, analysts are faced with the decision of which risk factors to include or exclude. One way of doing this is to look for the improvement in an information criterion that balances the fit against the number of parameters. The bigger the improvement in the information criterion, the more strongly the model with the smaller value is preferred.