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On the Weak form of Zipf's law

  • Wen-Chen Chen (a1)


Zipf's laws are probability distributions on the positive integers which decay algebraically. Such laws have been shown empirically to describe a large class of phenomena, including frequency of words usage, populations of cities, distributions of personal incomes, and distributions of biological genera and species, to mention only a few. In this paper we present a Dirichlet–multinomial urn model for describing the above phenomena from a stochastic point of view.

We derive the Zipf's law under certain regularity conditions; some limit theorems are also obtained for the urn model under consideration.


Corresponding author

Postal address: Department of Statistics, Carnegie-Mellon University, Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, U.S.A.


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On the Weak form of Zipf's law

  • Wen-Chen Chen (a1)


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