Re: [R] Which distribution best fits the data?

From: Ben Bolker <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 11:50:11 +0000 (UTC)

Jenny Barnes <jmb <at>> writes:

> Dear R-help community,
> Does anybody know of a stats function in R that tells you which
> distribution best fits your data? I have tried look through the archives
> but have only found functions that tell you if it's normal or log etc.
> specifically - I am looking for a function that tells you (given a
> timeseries) what the distribution is.
> Any help/advice will be greatly appreciated,
> All the best,
> Jenny Barnes
> jmb <at>

   The problem is that it's not generally a good idea to data-dredge in this way. Your best bet is to think about the characteristics of the data (discrete or continuous, non-negative or real, symmetric or skewed) and try to narrow it down to a few distributions -- then you can use fitdistr() (from the MASS package) or something similar to compare among them.

  If you say a little bit more about what you're trying to do with the data you might get some more specific advice.

  Ben Bolker mailing list PLEASE do read the posting guide and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code. Received on Mon 30 Jun 2008 - 11:54:03 GMT

Archive maintained by Robert King, hosted by the discipline of statistics at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Archive generated by hypermail 2.2.0, at Mon 30 Jun 2008 - 12:30:55 GMT.

Mailing list information is available at Please read the posting guide before posting to the list.

list of date sections of archive