The Poisson distribution

  • Pierre Jolicoeur


The Poisson distribution is a discontinuous distribution which was described by the French mathematician Siméon Denis Poisson (1781-2013;1840) in a book published in 1837. The Poisson distribution is a particular case of the binomial distribution (chapter 17) where the probability p becomes smaller and smaller (p → 0) while the exponent k becomes larger and larger (k ∞) in such a way that their product, the mean, μ= kp, keeps a finite value (0 < μ = kp < ∞). The Poisson distribution might thus be defined by the following equation


Poisson Distribution Binomial Distribution Spatial Arrangement Individual Organism Dispersion Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Jolicoeur
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological ScienceUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada

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