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Most Frequently Used Digit


Date: 6/13/96 at 9:57:11
From: dhautree
Subject: Most used digit

Which is the most frequent digit in our number system?


Date: 6/19/96 at 8:47:12
From: Doctor Patrick
Subject: Re: Most used digit

Hi!  As far as I know there really isn't a digit in our number system 
which is used more then any other.  All of the digits which we use to 
make numbers get a lot of use -- in fact I'll bet you use all of them 
many times a day.  

-Doctor Patrick,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    

Date: 05/25/2003 at 08:39:48
From: Carsten
Subject: asymmetric distribution of digits in real life

Hello there,

A couple of years ago I saw some kind of study about exactly 
this subject. It stated that if you extract and compare a large 
number of digits from real life sources (birth dates, company 
balances, temperatures...), there actually exists an asymmetric 
distribution. The digit "1" is supposed to be more frequent than 
the "2", which in turn is more frequent than the "3" and so on.

Furthermore, this study described a procedure to use this phenomenon 
to distinguish between arbitrarily set values (such as a fake income 
declaration) and values that evolved in real life.

Have you heard anything about this theory, or do you know of anyone 
who has had anything to do with a similar subject who might help me 
find this study?

Thanks in advance!
Carsten

Date: 05/26/2003 at 12:14:30
From: Doctor Douglas
Subject: Re: asymmetric distribution of digits in real life

Hi Carsten,

You're undoubtedly referring to "Benford's Law", which is sometimes
known as the "leading digit phenomenon", and notes that the most
common *leading* digit is "1".  Note that this answers a slightly 
different question than "What is the most commonly used digit?", 
although the two are closely related.  A starting point is the
following web page in our archives:

  Benford's Law
   http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/52762.html

-Doctor Douglas,  The Math Forum
 http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   

Date: 05/27/2003 at 06:28:09
From: Carsten
Subject: Thank you (asymmetric distribution of digits in real life)

Hi,

Thanks a lot, this was exactly what I have been looking for!

Ciao,
Carsten
Associated Topics:
Elementary Number Sense/About Numbers

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