distribution function

distribution function

noun Statistics.
(of any random variable) the function that assigns to each number the probability that the random variable takes a value less than or equal to the given number.

Origin:
1905–10

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To distribution function
Collins
World English Dictionary
distribution function
 
n
short for cumulative distribution function

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

distribution function

mathematical expression that describes the probability that a system will take on a specific value or set of values. The classic examples are associated with games of chance. The binomial distribution gives the probabilities that heads will come up a times and tails na times (for 0an), when a fair coin is tossed n times. Many phenomena, such as the distribution of IQs, approximate the classic bell-shaped, or normal, curve (see normal distribution). The highest point on the curve indicates the most common or modal value, which in most cases will be close to the average (mean) for the population. A well-known example from physics is the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution law, which specifies the probability that a molecule of gas will be found with velocity components u, v, and w in the x, y, and z directions. A distribution function may take into account as many variables as one chooses to include.

Learn more about distribution function with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature