[Python-Dev] PEP 450 adding statistics module

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Mon Sep 9 09:30:15 CEST 2013

On 9/8/2013 10:57 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> I don't necessarily find this persuasive.  It's more common when
> working with existing databases that you add variables than add
> observations.

My experience with general scientific research is the opposite. One 
decides on the variables to measure and then adds rows (records) of data 
as you measure each experimental or observational subject. New 
calculated variables may be added (and often are) after the data 
collection is complete (at least for the moment).

Time series analysis is a distinct and specialized subfield of 
statistics. The corresponding data collections is often different: one 
may start with a fixed set of subjects (50 US states for instance) and 
add 'variables' (population in year X) indefinitely. Much economic 
statistics is in this category.

A third category is interaction analysis, where the data form a true 
matrix where both rows and columns represent subjects and entries 
represent interaction (how many times John emailed Joe, for instance).

Terry Jan Reedy

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