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Benford's LawTheory and Applications$
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Steven J. Miller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147611

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147611.001.0001

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A Quick Introduction to Benfordʼs Law

A Quick Introduction to Benfordʼs Law

Chapter:
(p.3) Chapter One A Quick Introduction to Benfordʼs Law
Source:
Benford's Law
Author(s):

Steven J. Miller

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691147611.003.0001

This chapter provides a brief overview of Benford's law. It states Benford's law of digit bias and describes its history. The chapter then discusses the origins of Benford's law and gives numerous examples of data sets that follow this law, as well as some that do not. From these examples this chapter extracts several explanations as to the prevalence of Benford's law. Finally, the chapter closes with a quick summary of many of the diverse situations in which Benford's law holds, and why an observation that began in looking at the wear and tear in tables of logarithms has become a major tool in subjects as diverse as detecting tax fraud and building efficient computers.

Keywords:   Benford's law, origins, data sets, logarithms, digit bias, tax fraud, computer systems

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