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Notation - f(x,a) vs f(x;a)

  • Thread starter Legendre
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  • #1
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Homework Statement



Quick question...

I have seen both being used : f(x,a) and f(x;a). What is the usual convention? Are both acceptable to denote functions of 2 variables (in this case f is a function of both x and a). Or are there vital differences between the two that I don't know about?

Thanks! :)

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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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I don't recall ever seeing this notation -- f(x; a) -- being used.
 
  • #3
statdad
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notation like [tex] f(x;a) [/tex] is used in mathematical statistics when you want to show that a distribution depends on a parameter (real or vector-valued). for example, if you are talking about a normal distribution with some mean and standard deviation, writing
[tex] \theta = (\mu, \sigma)[/tex] the density would be indicated [tex] f(x;\theta)[/tex]

it indicates that the function depends on [tex] x [/tex] and involves a parameter [tex] \theta [/tex] (so, as we say in statistics, by varying [tex] \theta [/tex] we obtain not one but a family of normal distributions.
 

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