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Question about notation

  1. Mar 13, 2009 #1
    Given this statement "[tex]T^k_{s,i}[/tex] is exponentially distributed, and the parameter [tex]\alpha[/tex] in the distribution of [tex]T^k_{s,i}[/tex] depends only on the maximum expected surplus [tex]S^k_{s,i}[/tex] of seller i on the length T of the trading period, and on [tex]t_k[/tex], the time elapsed in the trading period. We write this dependence as

    \mbox{\Huge \alpha = f_{s,i}(S^k_{s,i};\, t_k,\, T)}

    In that last expression what is the significance of the separation of the [tex]S^k_{s,i}[/tex] from the [tex]t_k, T[/tex] by a semicolon, as contrasted with the separation of the latter two terms by a comma? It's clearly not accidental -- they follow this notation several times in the paper.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2009 #2
    To the left of the semicolon are the variables, to the right are the parameters.
    f(x) = m\cdot x + b
    [/tex] or [tex]
    f(x;m,b) = m\cdot x + b
  4. Mar 15, 2009 #3
    Thanks, that's good to know. But then, what I quoted above seems to be an abuse of that notation. [tex]T[/tex] is clearly a parameter, but wouldn't you consider [tex]t_k[/tex] (elapsed time) a variable?
  5. Mar 15, 2009 #4
    That sounds like a question for your function, which seems to be saying that it's a parameter.
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