[SciPy-Dev] Working on the docstring for stats.distributions.rv_continuous.fit

josef.pktd@gmai... josef.pktd@gmai...
Wed Jun 16 09:26:38 CDT 2010

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 10:19 AM, Skipper Seabold <jsseabold@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 8:38 PM, David Goldsmith
> <d.l.goldsmith@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi!  IMHO, the descriptions of the *args & **kwds parameters of the
>> Subject-referenced method are not very clear, so let me see if I understand
>> correctly:
> I agree and was having a look at this last week.  Here's my take.  I
> would err on the side of verbose in these docs, as the stats docs seem
> to be a general source of confusion from comments I've received off
> list, though obviously Josef, Travis, and others would know the
> details better than I.
>> *args : float(s), optional
>>     If the distribution in question depends on n parameters, _excluding
>> location and scale_, then *args may contain 0 to n floats, which are
>> starting estimates for the corresponding parameters.  No default value(s).
> I would add a note that n can be found in the numargs attribute of the
> distribution.
>> **kwds _may_ contain the following:
>> loc : float, optional
>>     Starting estimate for the location parameter, no default.
>> scale : float, optional
>>     Starting estimate for the scale parameter, no default.
> If the extra args *and* loc *and* scale are not specified, then the
> default starting estimates for loc, scale, and args are taken from the
> distribution's _fitstart(data) method.  I think it would make more
> sense to take the defaults for ones that are not provided by the user
> only, but this is not how the code reads at the moment as far as I can
> tell.

If you have a proposal how to improve the code (e.g. default
handling), then you could file a ticket, so we know what to review
before the next release.


>> floc : bool, optional
>>     Hold the location parameter constant; default: False.
> floc : float, optional
>    Hold the location parameter constant at the given value.  Default:
> Fit this parameter using the data.
>> fscale : bool, optional
>>     Hold the scale parameter constant; default: False
> See above.
>> fi : bool, optional
>>     Hold the i-th scale parameter constant; there may be up to len(args) of
>> these; default: False
> I would keep it as something like
> f1...fn : float, optional
>   Hold shape parameter fi constant at the given value, where i may be
> 1 to numargs of the distribution.
> Skipper
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