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November 1998 Early sample measures of variability
H. A. David
Statist. Sci. 13(4): 368-377 (November 1998). DOI: 10.1214/ss/1028905831


This paper attempts a brief account of the history of sample measures of dispersion, with major emphasis on early developments. The statistics considered include standard deviation, mean deviation, median absolute deviation, mean difference, range, interquartile distance and linear functions of order statistics. The multiplicity of measures is seen to result from constant efforts to strike a balance between efficiency and ease of computation, with some recognition also of the desirability of robustness and theoretical convenience. Many individuals shaped this history, especially Gauss. The main contributors to our story are in chronological order, Lambert, Laplace, Gauss, Bienaymé, Abbe, Helmert and Galton


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H. A. David. "Early sample measures of variability." Statist. Sci. 13 (4) 368 - 377, November 1998.


Published: November 1998
First available in Project Euclid: 9 August 2002

zbMATH: 1059.62500
MathSciNet: MR1705268
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/ss/1028905831

Primary: 62-01
Secondary: 62-03

Keywords: Abbe , Bienaymé , chi-squared distribution , Gauss , Helmert , interquartile distance , Laplace , mean deviation , mean difference , measures of dispersion , median absolute deviation , order statistics , ‎range‎ , standard deviation

Rights: Copyright © 1998 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.13 • No. 4 • November 1998
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