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Rücker, G (2003)

Benford's Law in Medical Data Sets

In Proceedings of 49th Biometric Conference of the German Region of theInternational Biometric Society at Wuppertal, March 2003.

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Abstract: In many sets of numbers (integer or real) it is observed that the first non-zero digit is much more often 1 than 2, more often 2 than 3, and so on. This phenomenon, called "Benford's law" or "The Significant Digit Phenomenon", has been known for more than 100 years [Newcomb 1881, Benford 1938]. Hill [Hill 1995] derived theoretically that it is based on a very universal principle. There are also some applications, for example, for detecting fraud in U.S. tax data [Nigrini 1995]. We give an elementary characterization of probability distributions following the law. It is seen that log-normally distributed data approximately obey Benford's law. Further, the question is discussed whether it is possible to detect errors or manipulation in medical data sets also.

@inproceedings{, title={Benford's Law in Medical Data Sets}, author={R{\"u}cker, Gerta and Freiburg, Uniklinik}, booktitle={49 th Biometric Conference of the German Region of the International Biometric Society at Wuppertal}, year={2003}, }

Reference Type: Conference Paper

Subject Area(s): General Interest, Medical Sciences