Welcome to powerlaw’s documentation!¶
Here are documentation for the functions and classes in powerlaw. See the powerlaw home page for more information and examples.
Contents:

class
powerlaw.
Distribution
(xmin=1, xmax=None, discrete=False, fit_method='Likelihood', data=None, parameters=None, parameter_range=None, initial_parameters=None, discrete_approximation='round', parent_Fit=None, **kwargs)[source]¶ An abstract class for theoretical probability distributions. Can be created with particular parameter values, or fitted to a dataset. Fitting is by maximum likelihood estimation by default.
Parameters: xmin : int or float, optional
The data value beyond which distributions should be fitted. If None an optimal one will be calculated.
xmax : int or float, optional
The maximum value of the fitted distributions.
discrete : boolean, optional
Whether the distribution is discrete (integers).
data : list or array, optional
The data to which to fit the distribution. If provided, the fit will be created at initialization.
fit_method : “Likelihood” or “KS”, optional
Method for fitting the distribution. “Likelihood” is maximum Likelihood estimation. “KS” is minimial distance estimation using The KolmogorovSmirnov test.
parameters : tuple or list, optional
The parameters of the distribution. Will be overridden if data is given or the fit method is called.
parameter_range : dict, optional
Dictionary of valid parameter ranges for fitting. Formatted as a dictionary of parameter names (‘alpha’ and/or ‘sigma’) and tuples of their lower and upper limits (ex. (1.5, 2.5), (None, .1)
initial_parameters : tuple or list, optional
Initial values for the parameter in the fitting search.
discrete_approximation : “round”, “xmax” or int, optional
If the discrete form of the theoeretical distribution is not known, it can be estimated. One estimation method is “round”, which sums the probability mass from x.5 to x+.5 for each data point. The other option is to calculate the probability for each x from 1 to N and normalize by their sum. N can be “xmax” or an integer.
parent_Fit : Fit object, optional
A Fit object from which to use data, if it exists.
Methods
KS
([data])Returns the KolmogorovSmirnov distance D between the distribution and the data. ccdf
([data, survival])The complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF) of the theoretical distribution. cdf
([data, survival])The cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the theoretical distribution. fit
([data, suppress_output])Fits the parameters of the distribution to the data. generate_random
([n, estimate_discrete])Generates random numbers from the theoretical probability distribution. in_range
()Whether the current parameters of the distribution are within the range of valid parameters. initial_parameters
(data)Return previously userprovided initial parameters or, if never provided, calculate new ones. likelihoods
(data)The likelihoods of the observed data from the theoretical distribution. loglikelihoods
(data)The logarithm of the likelihoods of the observed data from the theoretical distribution. parameter_range
(r[, initial_parameters])Set the limits on the range of valid parameters to be considered while fitting. pdf
([data])Returns the probability density function (normalized histogram) of the theoretical distribution for the values in data within xmin and xmax, if present. plot_ccdf
([data, ax, survival])Plots the complementary cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the theoretical distribution for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present. plot_cdf
([data, ax, survival])Plots the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the theoretical distribution for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present. plot_pdf
([data, ax])Plots the probability density function (PDF) of the theoretical distribution for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present. 
KS
(data=None)[source]¶ Returns the KolmogorovSmirnov distance D between the distribution and the data. Also sets the properties D+, D, V (the Kuiper testing statistic), and Kappa (1 + the average difference between the theoretical and empirical distributions).
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.

ccdf
(data=None, survival=True)[source]¶ The complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF) of the theoretical distribution. Calculated for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.
survival : bool, optional
Whether to calculate a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). True by default.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is less than or equal to X.

cdf
(data=None, survival=False)[source]¶ The cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the theoretical distribution. Calculated for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.
survival : bool, optional
Whether to calculate a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). False by default.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is less than or equal to X.

fit
(data=None, suppress_output=False)[source]¶ Fits the parameters of the distribution to the data. Uses options set at initialization.

generate_random
(n=1, estimate_discrete=None)[source]¶ Generates random numbers from the theoretical probability distribution. If xmax is present, it is currently ignored.
Parameters: n : int or float
The number of random numbers to generate
estimate_discrete : boolean
For discrete distributions, whether to use a faster approximation of the random number generator. If None, attempts to inherit the estimate_discrete behavior used for fitting from the Distribution object or the parent Fit object, if present. Approximations only exist for some distributions (namely the power law). If an approximation does not exist an estimate_discrete setting of True will not be inherited.
Returns: r : array
Random numbers drawn from the distribution

in_range
()[source]¶ Whether the current parameters of the distribution are within the range of valid parameters.

initial_parameters
(data)[source]¶ Return previously userprovided initial parameters or, if never provided, calculate new ones. Default initial parameter estimates are unique to each theoretical distribution.

likelihoods
(data)[source]¶ The likelihoods of the observed data from the theoretical distribution. Another name for the probabilities or probability density function.

loglikelihoods
(data)[source]¶ The logarithm of the likelihoods of the observed data from the theoretical distribution.

parameter_range
(r, initial_parameters=None)[source]¶ Set the limits on the range of valid parameters to be considered while fitting.
Parameters: r : dict
A dictionary of the parameter range. Restricted parameter names are keys, and with tuples of the form (lower_bound, upper_bound) as values.
initial_parameters : tuple or list, optional
Initial parameter values to start the fitting search from.

pdf
(data=None)[source]¶ Returns the probability density function (normalized histogram) of the theoretical distribution for the values in data within xmin and xmax, if present.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.
Returns: probabilities : array

plot_ccdf
(data=None, ax=None, survival=True, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the complementary cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the theoretical distribution for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present. Plots to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.
ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
survival : bool, optional
Whether to plot a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). True by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.

plot_cdf
(data=None, ax=None, survival=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the theoretical distribution for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present. Plots to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.
ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
survival : bool, optional
Whether to plot a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). False by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.

plot_pdf
(data=None, ax=None, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the probability density function (PDF) of the theoretical distribution for the values given in data within xmin and xmax, if present. Plots to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
If not provided, attempts to use the data from the Fit object in which the Distribution object is contained.
ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.


class
powerlaw.
Fit
(data, discrete=False, xmin=None, xmax=None, verbose=True, fit_method='Likelihood', estimate_discrete=True, discrete_approximation='round', sigma_threshold=None, parameter_range=None, fit_optimizer=None, xmin_distance='D', **kwargs)[source]¶ A fit of a data set to various probability distributions, namely power laws. For fits to power laws, the methods of Clauset et al. 2007 are used. These methods identify the portion of the tail of the distribution that follows a power law, beyond a value xmin. If no xmin is provided, the optimal one is calculated and assigned at initialization.
Parameters: data : list or array
discrete : boolean, optional
Whether the data is discrete (integers).
xmin : int or float, optional
The data value beyond which distributions should be fitted. If None an optimal one will be calculated.
xmax : int or float, optional
The maximum value of the fitted distributions.
verbose: bool, optional
Whether to print updates about where we are in the fitting process. Default True.
estimate_discrete : bool, optional
Whether to estimate the fit of a discrete power law using fast analytical methods, instead of calculating the fit exactly with slow numerical methods. Very accurate with xmin>6
sigma_threshold : float, optional
Upper limit on the standard error of the power law fit. Used after fitting, when identifying valid xmin values.
parameter_range : dict, optional
Dictionary of valid parameter ranges for fitting. Formatted as a dictionary of parameter names (‘alpha’ and/or ‘sigma’) and tuples of their lower and upper limits (ex. (1.5, 2.5), (None, .1)
Methods
ccdf
([original_data, survival])Returns the complementary cumulative distribution function of the data. cdf
([original_data, survival])Returns the cumulative distribution function of the data. distribution_compare
(dist1, dist2[, nested])Returns the loglikelihood ratio, and its pvalue, between the two distribution fits, assuming the candidate distributions are nested. find_xmin
([xmin_distance])Returns the optimal xmin beyond which the scaling regime of the power law fits best. loglikelihood_ratio
(dist1, dist2[, nested])Another name for distribution_compare. nested_distribution_compare
(dist1, dist2[, ...])Returns the loglikelihood ratio, and its pvalue, between the two distribution fits, assuming the candidate distributions are nested. pdf
([original_data])Returns the probability density function (normalized histogram) of the data. plot_ccdf
([ax, original_data, survival])Plots the CCDF to a new figure or to axis ax if provided. plot_cdf
([ax, original_data, survival])Plots the CDF to a new figure or to axis ax if provided. plot_pdf
([ax, original_data, linear_bins])Plots the probability density function (PDF) or the data to a new figure or to axis ax if provided. 
ccdf
(original_data=False, survival=True, **kwargs)[source]¶ Returns the complementary cumulative distribution function of the data.
Parameters: original_data : bool, optional
Whether to use all of the data initially passed to the Fit object. If False, uses only the data used for the fit (within xmin and xmax.)
survival : bool, optional
Whether to return the complementary cumulative distribution function, also known as the survival function, or the cumulative distribution function, 1CCDF.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is greater than or equal to X.

cdf
(original_data=False, survival=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Returns the cumulative distribution function of the data.
Parameters: original_data : bool, optional
Whether to use all of the data initially passed to the Fit object. If False, uses only the data used for the fit (within xmin and xmax.)
survival : bool, optional
Whether to return the complementary cumulative distribution function, 1CDF, also known as the survival function.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is less than or equal to X.

distribution_compare
(dist1, dist2, nested=None, **kwargs)[source]¶ Returns the loglikelihood ratio, and its pvalue, between the two distribution fits, assuming the candidate distributions are nested.
Parameters: dist1 : string
Name of the first candidate distribution (ex. ‘power_law’)
dist2 : string
Name of the second candidate distribution (ex. ‘exponential’)
nested : bool or None, optional
Whether to assume the candidate distributions are nested versions of each other. None assumes not unless the name of one distribution is a substring of the other.
Returns: R : float
Loglikelihood ratio of the two distributions’ fit to the data. If greater than 0, the first distribution is preferred. If less than 0, the second distribution is preferred.
p : float
Significance of R

find_xmin
(xmin_distance=None)[source]¶ Returns the optimal xmin beyond which the scaling regime of the power law fits best. The attribute self.xmin of the Fit object is also set.
The optimal xmin beyond which the scaling regime of the power law fits best is identified by minimizing the KolmogorovSmirnov distance between the data and the theoretical power law fit. This is the method of Clauset et al. 2007.

loglikelihood_ratio
(dist1, dist2, nested=None, **kwargs)[source]¶ Another name for distribution_compare.

nested_distribution_compare
(dist1, dist2, nested=True, **kwargs)[source]¶ Returns the loglikelihood ratio, and its pvalue, between the two distribution fits, assuming the candidate distributions are nested.
Parameters: dist1 : string
Name of the first candidate distribution (ex. ‘power_law’)
dist2 : string
Name of the second candidate distribution (ex. ‘exponential’)
nested : bool or None, optional
Whether to assume the candidate distributions are nested versions of each other. None assumes not unless the name of one distribution is a substring of the other. True by default.
Returns: R : float
Loglikelihood ratio of the two distributions’ fit to the data. If greater than 0, the first distribution is preferred. If less than 0, the second distribution is preferred.
p : float
Significance of R

pdf
(original_data=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Returns the probability density function (normalized histogram) of the data.
Parameters: original_data : bool, optional
Whether to use all of the data initially passed to the Fit object. If False, uses only the data used for the fit (within xmin and xmax.)
Returns: bin_edges : array
The edges of the bins of the probability density function.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is within the bin. Length 1 less than bin_edges, as it corresponds to the spaces between them.

plot_ccdf
(ax=None, original_data=False, survival=True, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the CCDF to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
original_data : bool, optional
Whether to use all of the data initially passed to the Fit object. If False, uses only the data used for the fit (within xmin and xmax.)
survival : bool, optional
Whether to plot a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). True by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.

plot_cdf
(ax=None, original_data=False, survival=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the CDF to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
original_data : bool, optional
Whether to use all of the data initially passed to the Fit object. If False, uses only the data used for the fit (within xmin and xmax.)
survival : bool, optional
Whether to plot a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). False by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.

plot_pdf
(ax=None, original_data=False, linear_bins=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the probability density function (PDF) or the data to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
original_data : bool, optional
Whether to use all of the data initially passed to the Fit object. If False, uses only the data used for the fit (within xmin and xmax.)
linear_bins : bool, optional
Whether to use linearly spaced bins (True) or logarithmically spaced bins (False). False by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.


powerlaw.
bisect_map
(mn, mx, function, target)[source]¶ Uses binary search to find the target solution to a function, searching in a given ordered sequence of integer values.
Parameters: seq : list or array, monotonically increasing integers
function : a function that takes a single integer input, which monotonically
decreases over the range of seq.
target : the target value of the function
Returns: value : the input value that yields the target solution. If there is no
exact solution in the input sequence, finds the nearest value k such that
function(k) <= target < function(k+1). This is similar to the behavior of
bisect_left in the bisect package. If even the first, leftmost value of seq
does not satisfy this condition, 1 is returned.

powerlaw.
ccdf
(data, survival=True, **kwargs)[source]¶ The complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF) of the data.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
survival : bool, optional
Whether to calculate a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). True by default.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is less than or equal to X.

powerlaw.
cdf
(data, survival=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ The cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the data.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
survival : bool, optional
Whether to calculate a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). False by default.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is less than or equal to X.

powerlaw.
cumulative_distribution_function
(data, xmin=None, xmax=None, survival=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ The cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the data.
Parameters: data : list or array, optional
survival : bool, optional
Whether to calculate a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). False by default.
xmin : int or float, optional
The minimum data size to include. Values less than xmin are excluded.
xmax : int or float, optional
The maximum data size to include. Values greater than xmin are excluded.
Returns: X : array
The sorted, unique values in the data.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is less than or equal to X.

powerlaw.
loglikelihood_ratio
(loglikelihoods1, loglikelihoods2, nested=False, normalized_ratio=False)[source]¶ Calculates a loglikelihood ratio and the pvalue for testing which of two probability distributions is more likely to have created a set of observations.
Parameters: loglikelihoods1 : list or array
The logarithms of the likelihoods of each observation, calculated from a particular probability distribution.
loglikelihoods2 : list or array
The logarithms of the likelihoods of each observation, calculated from a particular probability distribution.
nested : bool, optional
Whether one of the two probability distributions that generated the likelihoods is a nested version of the other. False by default.
normalized_ratio : bool, optional
Whether to return the loglikelihood ratio, R, or the normalized ratio R/sqrt(n*variance)
Returns: R : float
The loglikelihood ratio of the two sets of likelihoods. If positive, the first set of likelihoods is more likely (and so the probability distribution that produced them is a better fit to the data). If negative, the reverse is true.
p : float
The significance of the sign of R. If below a critical value (typically .05) the sign of R is taken to be significant. If above the critical value the sign of R is taken to be due to statistical fluctuations.

powerlaw.
nested_loglikelihood_ratio
(loglikelihoods1, loglikelihoods2, **kwargs)[source]¶ Calculates a loglikelihood ratio and the pvalue for testing which of two probability distributions is more likely to have created a set of observations. Assumes one of the probability distributions is a nested version of the other.
Parameters: loglikelihoods1 : list or array
The logarithms of the likelihoods of each observation, calculated from a particular probability distribution.
loglikelihoods2 : list or array
The logarithms of the likelihoods of each observation, calculated from a particular probability distribution.
nested : bool, optional
Whether one of the two probability distributions that generated the likelihoods is a nested version of the other. True by default.
normalized_ratio : bool, optional
Whether to return the loglikelihood ratio, R, or the normalized ratio R/sqrt(n*variance)
Returns: R : float
The loglikelihood ratio of the two sets of likelihoods. If positive, the first set of likelihoods is more likely (and so the probability distribution that produced them is a better fit to the data). If negative, the reverse is true.
p : float
The significance of the sign of R. If below a critical value (typically .05) the sign of R is taken to be significant. If above the critical value the sign of R is taken to be due to statistical fluctuations.

powerlaw.
pdf
(data, xmin=None, xmax=None, linear_bins=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Returns the probability density function (normalized histogram) of the data.
Parameters: data : list or array
xmin : float, optional
Minimum value of the PDF. If None, uses the smallest value in the data.
xmax : float, optional
Maximum value of the PDF. If None, uses the largest value in the data.
linear_bins : float, optional
Whether to use linearly spaced bins, as opposed to logarithmically spaced bins (recommended for loglog plots).
Returns: bin_edges : array
The edges of the bins of the probability density function.
probabilities : array
The portion of the data that is within the bin. Length 1 less than bin_edges, as it corresponds to the spaces between them.

powerlaw.
plot_cdf
(data, ax=None, survival=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the data to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: data : list or array
ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
survival : bool, optional
Whether to plot a CDF (False) or CCDF (True). False by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.

powerlaw.
plot_pdf
(data, ax=None, linear_bins=False, **kwargs)[source]¶ Plots the probability density function (PDF) to a new figure or to axis ax if provided.
Parameters: data : list or array
ax : matplotlib axis, optional
The axis to which to plot. If None, a new figure is created.
linear_bins : bool, optional
Whether to use linearly spaced bins (True) or logarithmically spaced bins (False). False by default.
Returns: ax : matplotlib axis
The axis to which the plot was made.