American Mathematical Monthly 118 (7), pp. 571-583.
ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9890 DOI: 10.4169/amer.math.monthly.118.07.571
Abstract: Often data in the real world have the property that the firrst digit 1 appears about 30% of the time, the firrst digit 2 appears about 17% of the time, and so on with the firrst digit 9 appearing about 5% of the time. This phenomenon is known as Benford's law. This paper provides a simple explanation, suitable for nonmathematicians, of why Benford's law holds for data that has been growing (or shrinking) ex- ponentially over time. Two theorems verify that Benford's law holds if the initial values and rates of growth of the data appear at random.
Bibtex:
@article {,
AUTHOR = {Ross, Kenneth A.},
TITLE = {Benford's law, a growth industry},
JOURNAL = {Amer. Math. Monthly},
FJOURNAL = {American Mathematical Monthly},
VOLUME = {118},
YEAR = {2011},
NUMBER = {7},
PAGES = {571--583},
ISSN = {0002-9890},
DOI = {10.4169/amer.math.monthly.118.07.571},
URL = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4169/amer.math.monthly.118.07.571},
}
Reference Type: Journal Article
Subject Area(s): Probability Theory