1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Obtaining a normalized PDF from a histogram?

  1. Mar 18, 2012 #1
    Suppose I have a regular histogram, I can normalize it by dividing the frequency counts by the total number of counts (at least I believe that's all you need to do).

    What you're left with should be an approximation to the underlying PDF (probability density function). What I'm asking is how does one obtain an explicit form for the PDF from your normalized histogram?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 18, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Essentially it is a curve fitting problem. If you know the type of distribution (e.g. binomial, Poisson, normal, etc.), estimate the mean and variance from the data and use the type with specific parameters. Otherwise, fit a curve and make sure the integral of the fit = 1.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook