A “power law distribution” refers to a probability distribution of a certain mathematical form. To say a situation is described by a “power law distribution” is equivalent to saying it follows “Zipf’s Law” 1.

A PowerLawDistribution describes “…phenomena where large events are rare, but small ones quite common. For example, there are few large earthquakes but many small ones. There are a few mega-cities, but many small towns. There are few words, such as ‘and’ and ‘the’ that occur very frequently, but many which occur rarely. “ 2.

One mechanism which can explain a PowerLawDistribution is PreferentialAttachment.

[1] Lada A. Adamic. Zipf, Power-laws, and Pareto - a ranking tutorial.

- Zipf's Law on Planet Math has the dry math.
- Is Zipf's Law just a statistical glitch? by ChrisAnderson? citing work done by Wentian Li explains how a variable will follow a powerlaw distribution if it depends on another variable having an exponential distribution. Thus, you can have a powerlaw in word distribution even if you use a “monkey language” of random characters grouped into words. The length of the words follows an exponential distribution, and then the word distribution itself follows a powerlaw distribution.

[fr] on pourra vĂ©rifier MeatBall:LoiDePuissance et CraoWiki:LoiDePuissanceSurLaTerreWiki pour AttaquerLeModeDocument sur la page LoiDePuissance.

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