[SciPy-User] generic expectation operator

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Wed Aug 22 16:03:02 CDT 2012


On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 4:49 PM, nicky van foreest <vanforeest@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> For numerous purposes I need to compute the expectation of some
> function with respect to some probability distribution.  i.e. E f(X) =
> \int f(x) dG(x), where f is the function and G the distribution. When
> G is continuous, this is simple, just use scipy.integrate.quad.
> However, if G is discrete, things become more complicated since quad
> often misses the spikes in the density. To deal with this problem, in
> part, I came up with the following code, but it is not completely ok
> yet, see below.
>
> #!/usr/bin/env python
>
> import scipy.stats as stats
> import scipy.integrate
> from math import sqrt
>
> def E(f, X):
>     if hasattr(X,'dist'):
>         if isinstance(X.dist, stats.rv_discrete):  # hint from Ralph
>             g = X.pmf
>         else:
>             g = X.pdf
>         return scipy.integrate.quad(lambda x: x*g(x), X.dist.a, X.dist.b)
>     else:
>         return sum(f(x)*p for x,p in zip(X.xk, X.pk))
>
> # now the following works:
> X = stats.norm(3,sqrt(3))
> print E(sqrt, X)
>
> # this is ok too
> grid = [50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300]
> probs=[2,3,2,1.,0.5,0.5]
> tot = sum(probs)
> probs = [p/tot for p in probs]
> X =  stats.rv_discrete(values=(grid,probs), name='sizeDist')
> print E(sqrt, X)
>
> # but this is not ok
>
> X = stats.poisson(3)
> print E(sqrt, X)
>
> ------------------------------------------
>
> This is the output:
>
> 11.0383463182
> (7.771634331185016e-19, 1.916327339868129e-17)
> (2.9999999999999996, 1.1770368678494054e-08)
>
> So indeed, quad misses the spikes in the poisson distribution.
>
> Is there any nice way to resolve this? Moreover, is there a better way
> to build the expectation operator? Perhaps, if all works, it would be
> a useful add-on to distributions.py, or else I can include it in the
> distribution tutorial, if other people also think this is useful.

quad works only for continuous functions

did you look at

>>> stats.poisson.expect
<bound method poisson_gen.expect of
<scipy.stats.distributions.poisson_gen object at 0x0320FC90>>
>>> stats.norm.expect
<bound method norm_gen.expect of <scipy.stats.distributions.norm_gen
object at 0x031EB890>>

improvements welcome, especially making it more robust

Josef

>
> thanks
>
> Nicky
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