[Python-ideas] Expanding statistical functions in Python's std. lib.
ghostwriter402 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 30 17:46:54 CEST 2011
Wandering about, looking up statistics info for a program I was writing,
I found a recommendation to add various useful 'special functions' to
C's math library:
The arguments in that paper make a lot of sense to me, and apply well to
Python. They came up with a good list, IMnsHO. I'd recommend
implementing this list in some form as library functions in Python.
Blindly copying wouldn't end up particularly 'Pythonic;' tweaking the
API is required. Some of the selection choices, such as returning
real only, ought to be reevaluated, for example. Obviously, any of the
decisions to keep things C-like rather than object-oriented ought to
shift, as well.
Function names are only important as far as they are clear. I suggest
naming per <general category><specific case> e.g. distribution_t(), or
dist_F(), and include modification for algebraic order, as well, so
gamma() and log_gamma(). That said, anything clear is fine.
Thoughts on the matter? I noticed that the math library in 2.7+ added
the gamma and log(gamma) functions, already, which was nice. Obviously,
most, if not all, are already present in extensions modules such as
NumPy, but there is value in having these things built into the
language. "Batteries included, "and all that.
By the by, if that is far too much for one suggestion, then please just
treat this as a suggestion to add just the incomplete beta function.
(P-values for binomial, F, and t are all nice, too, though with inc.
beta, they aren't terrible to generate. I really think they should be
included in the standard library.)
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