scale free distribution

Terms from Statistics for HCI: Making Sense of Quantitative Data

An alternative name for a power-law distribution, which emphasises the scale free property. That is, if you imagine zooming in or out of the graph of a power law it looks the same shape at every scale. In contrast, if you have a Normal distribution (or indeed many kinds of distribution) and you zoom out, the distribution gets more narrow and the mean looks closer to zero. At a practical level Normally distributed data, such as people's heights, have a natural scale.

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