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Statistical Distributions 3rd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471371243
ISBN-10: 0471371246
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Editorial Reviews

Review

[...] a reference work for Everyman. -The Statistician 50 (1) 2001.

From the Back Cover

From the reviews:

"Concise and useful summaries of the salient facts and formulas relating to [various] distributions." -Journal of the American Statistical Association

"A worthwhile reference." -Journal of Quality Technology

Since the previous edition of this popular guide to the most commonly used statistical distributions was published in 1993, statistical methods have found many new applications in science, medicine, engineering, business/finance, and the social sciences. To keep pace with these developments and to highlight the growing influence of statistical software and data management techniques, this new edition is now thoroughly updated and revised. Through clear, concise, easy-to-follow presentations, the authors discuss the key facts and formulas for 40 major probability distributions, fine-tune all existing material, and continue to offer ready access to vital information gleaned from hard-to-find places across the literature. Highly useful both as an introduction to basic principles and as a quick reference guide, Statistical Distributions, Third Edition:
* Presents the 40 distributions in alphabetical order
* Provides all key formulas for each distribution
* Adds a new chapter on the Empirical Distribution Function
* Expands the Weibull Distribution to cover the 3 and 5 parameter versions
* Incorporates diagrams and tables illustrating the characteristics of each distribution
* Discusses the types of application for which distributions are used
* Features references to relevant software packages
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Product Details

  • Series: Wiley Series in Probability and Statistics (Book 359)
  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Interscience; 3 edition (June 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471371246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471371243
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,397,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
No book can possibly cover all distributions - new ones seem to show up in every new problem that arises. This book covers the common ones, maybe all the distributions a student sees in the first stats course or two.
The coverage is quite good for routine, and some non-routine purposes. I find the characteristic functions especially helpful. Each distribution's description of how it arises is also very useful - it's the kind of information that a practitioner needs in order to apply distributions to problems in meaningful ways.
I know that no book can say everything, but a few additions would have improved this book significantly. More discussion of applications would have helped. So would a discussion of general techniques for generating random numbers - inverse distributions, rejection, etc.
The two real weaknesses I found were in the extreme value and the empirical distributions. Extreme values don't stand alone. They often arise in ways dependent on other distributions. An extreme value distribution might describe the results of many experiments that find the largest of N values drawn from distribution P - with different results according to P. These distributions don't have convenient closed forms, but are amenable to some kinds of analysis anyway.
Perhaps the authors do a reasonable job of empirical distributions in the continuous case, but discrete (categorical) cases arise more in my work. Discrete distributions must answer such questions as: given that my sampling may not have found objects of all possible types, how many unknown types are probably still out there? Lots of problems have distributions too complicated for analysis or too poorly understood for book formulas to work, and must be handled empirically. More discussion of empirical techniques would make this a much stronger reference.
Despite its soft spots, this is a very practical reference. I expect it to be a productive member of my technical library.
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Format: Paperback
This is an extremely valuable compendium of what almost any pracitioner needs to know about 40 of the most commonly used statistical distributions. It is designed as a quick lookup reference for each of the distributions. Most chapters begin with a few brief lines describing some of the applications of the distribution, and then provide a list of relevant formulae, such as for the distribution function, probability density, moments etc. Relationships to other distributions are defined, means of estimating the parameters provided, and ways of generating random numbers from the distribution are indicated.
Graphs of the distributions are shown with varying parameter values in most cases.
The book should be seen purely as a handbook on statistical distributions, not as a theoretical reference. The book is ideal for those who make use of statistical distributions in other fields, and who are not necessarily statisticians themselves. I have no formal statistics training, but use distributions extensively in my own work, and found this book very easy to understand. I have been using Johnson and Kotz monographs fairly extensively as references for the distributions in which I am interested, but find this book a much simpler reference for the basic facts of the distributions. In addition, its consistent use of notation across the chapters makes it much easier for the reader to cross reference.
I refrain from giving 5 stars to the book because of a few weaknesses, primarily omissions. Firstly, as an earlier reviewer pointed out, the lack of an index is a little annoying sometimes. Secondly, the bibliography is very slim, and so the reader interested in finding further details, proofs etc., is given very little direction.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very good reference for univariate statistical distributions. It provides maximum likelihood and moment estimation formulas for many distributions i'ven't seen anywhere else. That's right that the price is quite high for the number of pages but this information is invaluable for practitioners who need to fit distributions to real data.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good overview of a variety of statistical distributions. I particularly like the empirical distribution, which gives a detailed method for constructing a distribution from empirical data.

However, it lacks some details that I am interested in such as the Levy distribution, robust comparisons between empirical and theoretical distributions, and a focus or discussion on distribution tails.

I knocked off another star because, incredibly, the book lacks and index.
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Format: Paperback
Evans et al offer a group of probability distribution functions. Each is given a few pages in which it is described. Often with formulas for the mean and variance and median. Sometimes, there are also expressions for the skewness and kurtosis. The conciseness of the descriptions make this a handy reference guide.

You should be clear on this. The book is not one to learn about these distributions for the first time. Of course, there are an infinite number of possible distributions. But the choices in the book are many that you are likely to run across in statistical applications.
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