Journal of Applied Probability

Convergence properties in certain occupancy problems including the Karlin-Rouault law

Estáte V. Khmaladze

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Let x denote a vector of length q consisting of 0s and 1s. It can be interpreted as an `opinion' comprised of a particular set of responses to a questionnaire consisting of q questions, each having {0, 1}-valued answers. Suppose that the questionnaire is answered by n individuals, thus providing n `opinions'. Probabilities of the answer 1 to each question can be, basically, arbitrary and different for different questions. Out of the 2q different opinions, what number, μn, would one expect to see in the sample? How many of these opinions, μn(k), will occur exactly k times? In this paper we give an asymptotic expression for μn / 2q and the limit for the ratios μn(k)/μn, when the number of questions q increases along with the sample size n so that n = λ2q, where λ is a constant. Let p(x) denote the probability of opinion x. The key step in proving the asymptotic results as indicated is the asymptotic analysis of the joint behaviour of the intensities np(x). For example, one of our results states that, under certain natural conditions, for any z > 0, ∑1{np(x) > z} = dn z-u, dn = o(2q).

Article information

J. Appl. Probab., Volume 48, Number 4 (2011), 1095-1113.

First available in Project Euclid: 16 December 2011

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 62D05: Sampling theory, sample surveys 62E20: Asymptotic distribution theory 60E05: Distributions: general theory 60F10: Large deviations

Number of unique outcomes sparse tables Karlin-Rouault law Zipf's law Good-Turing index large deviations contiguity


Khmaladze, Estáte V. Convergence properties in certain occupancy problems including the Karlin-Rouault law. J. Appl. Probab. 48 (2011), no. 4, 1095--1113. doi:10.1239/jap/1324046021.

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