735. Unfortunate naming

Section: 29.6.8.3.2 [rand.dist.bern.bin], 29.6.8.3.4 [rand.dist.bern.negbin] Status: NAD Submitter: Stephan Tolksdorf Opened: 2007-09-21 Last modified: 2016-02-10

Priority: Not Prioritized

View all issues with NAD status.

Discussion:

In my opinion the choice of name for the t parameter of the binomial_distribution is very unfortunate. In virtually every internet reference, book and software implementation this parameter is called n instead, see for example Wikipedia, Mathworld, Evans et al. (1993) Statistical Distributions, 2nd E., Wiley, p. 38, the R statistical computing language, p. 926, Mathematica and Matlab.

Similarly, the choice of k for the parameter of the negative binomial distributions is rather unusual. The most common choice for the negative binomial distribution seems to be r instead.

Choosing unusual names for the parameters causes confusion among users and makes the interface unnecessarily inconvenient to use.

Possible resolution: For these reasons, I propose to change the name of the respective parameters to n and r.

[ Bellevue: ]

In N2424. NAD It has been around for a while. It is hardly universal, there is prior art, and this would confuse people.

Proposed resolution:

See N2424 for the proposed resolution.