Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 Dec;66(6 Pt 2):067103. Epub 2002 Dec 20.

From gene families and genera to incomes and internet file sizes: why power laws are so common in nature.

Author information

1
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 3P4.

Abstract

We present a simple explanation for the occurrence of power-law tails in statistical distributions by showing that if stochastic processes with exponential growth in expectation are killed (or observed) randomly, the distribution of the killed or observed state exhibits power-law behavior in one or both tails. This simple mechanism can explain power-law tails in the distributions of the sizes of incomes, cities, internet files, biological taxa, and in gene family and protein family frequencies.

PMID:
12513446
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevE.66.067103

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center