- #1

tworitdash

- 107

- 26

However, at some point, I had to define a set of variables that are random draws from a distribution. I called the variable [itex] \omega_m [/itex], and there are [itex] M [/itex] of them. So I wrote something like the following.

[itex] \omega_m \sim \mathcal{N}(\mu_{\omega}, \sigma^2_{\omega}) [/itex] and I explained what the variables mean. When I explain this to my colleagues or write it in a forum, some people are upset/ confused with my notation, making it unnecessarily hard (in my opinion) to convey the message (although it is quite clear in my head). For example, for the situation given above, statisticians comment that I should not use [itex] \omega_m [/itex] itself as a variable name because its upper-case letter [itex] \Omega [/itex] represents a parameter for a probability space. Some people even get confused when a random variable of this kind is represented with a lowercase letter. They believe it should always be written in an upper-case letter. So, one possible way to please a statistician is to write it like the following.

$$ X_m \sim \mathcal{N}(\mu_, \sigma^2) $$

So, not only did I get rid of the alphabet [itex] \omega [/itex] (that made sense to me based on the variable I had in mind earlier), but I also made it uppercase.

When I show it to someone familiar with signal processing, they are upset with uppercase letters because they represent matrices, not variables.

For a clean and concise paper, why does it matter that we always have to respect some notation? Does the notation matter if we explain what we are trying to say?

To defend myself: I have read many papers and seen people using very different notations to explain the same thing in the past. For example, a Laplacian was represented as [itex] \Delta [/itex], and sometimes it was represented as [itex] \nabla^2 [/itex].

I ask this here because, as a researcher, most of my time goes into explaining people things based on their understanding, which takes a lot of effort and time. It also sometimes makes me feel dumb, but later I realize that the notations and rules make it difficult (not my understanding of things).