Journal of the International Association for Mathematical Geology

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 1-24

First online:

A generalized set of discrete frequency distributions with Fortran program

  • Charles E. GatesAffiliated withInstitute of Statistics, Texas A & M University
  • , Frank G. EthridgeAffiliated withDepartment of Geology, Southern Illinois University

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Geologists unfamiliar with the application of probability theory to discrete data in other fields of research are usually acquainted with only three discrete theoretical frequency distributions: Poisson, binomial, and negative binomial distributions. In some situations these distributions may fail to adequately describe a set of experimental data. Other distributions such as the Poisson with zeros, Neyman type A, logarithmic with zeros, Poisson-binomial, and Thomas double Poisson together with the more common Poisson, binomial, and negative binomial form a generalized subset of discrete theoretical distributions, one of which should fit almost any experimental data set. A computer program is presented which allows testing of any combination of these distributions against observed discrete data.

Key words

discrete frequency distributions statistics general geology