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From Sébastien Brisard (JIRA) <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (MATH-753) Better implementation for the gamma distribution density function
Date Wed, 16 May 2012 05:40:17 GMT


Sébastien Brisard commented on MATH-753:

Unit tests of the new implementation of {{double density(double)}} in {{r1339014}}. This solves
this issue.
> Better implementation for the gamma distribution density function
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: MATH-753
>                 URL:
>             Project: Commons Math
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>    Affects Versions: 2.2, 3.0, 3.1
>            Reporter: Francesco Strino
>            Assignee: Sébastien Brisard
>            Priority: Minor
>              Labels: improvement, stability
>             Fix For: 3.1
>         Attachments: MATH-753.tar.gz, lanczos.patch
> The way the density of the gamma distribution function is estimated can be improved.
> It's much more stable to calculate first the log of the density and then exponentiate,
otherwise the function returns NaN for high values of the parameters alpha and beta. 
> It would be sufficient to change the public double density(double x) function at line
204 in the file org.apache.commons.math.distribution.GammaDistributionImpl as follows:
> return Math.exp(Math.log( x )*(alpha-1) - Math.log(beta)*alpha - x/beta - Gamma.logGamma(alpha));

> In order to improve performance, log(beta) and Gamma.logGamma(alpha) could also be precomputed
and stored during initialization.

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