Hypergeometric distribution

Raven balckraven at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 15:46:47 EST 2006

Cameron Laird wrote:

> This thread confuses me.
> I've lost track of the real goal.  If it's an exact calculation of
> binomial coefficients--or even one of several other potential
> targets mentioned--I echo Steven D'Aprano, and ask, are you *sure*
> the suggestions already offered aren't adequate?

Hi Cameron, my real goal was to calculate the hypergeometric
distribution. The problem was that the  function for hypergeometric
calculation from scipy uses the scipy.comb function which by default
uses floats so for large numbers comb(n,r) returns inf. and hence the
hypergeometric returns nan.
The first suggestion, the one by Robert Kern,  resolved my problem:

Raven wrote:
>Thanks to all of you guys, I could resolve my problem using the
>logarithms as proposed by Robert.

Then the other guys gave alternative solutions so I tried them out. So
form me the suggestions offered are more than adequate :-)

Cameron Laird wrote:
>Also, I think you
> might not realize how accurate Stirling's approximation (perhaps to
> second order) is in the range of interest.

The problem with Stirling's approximation is that I need to calculate
the hypergeometric hence the factorial for numbers within a large range
e.g. choose(14000,170) or choose(5,2)


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