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Davisson [131, [141 has considered the problem of determining the "order" of the signal from noisy data. Although interesting theoretically, his result is difficult to use in practice. In this correspondence, we exploit one well-known fact concerning autoregressive (AR) signals plus white noise, and using Akaike's information criterion , , we have developed one efficient procedure for determining the order of the AR signal from noisy data. The procedure is illustrated numerically using both artificially generated and real data. The connection between the preceding problem and the classical statistical problem of factor analysis is discussed.