[R] Curious about nomenclature: random deviates

Andrew Robinson andrewr at uidaho.edu
Tue Apr 6 06:12:40 CEST 2004

Hi all,

a student of mine recently stumbled whilst reading the R help files for the 
statistical distributions.  She was confused by their assertion that, for 
example, 'rnorm' generates random deviates.  I have seen this label used 
elsewhere, although it does not seem universal - for example, Ripley (1987) 
doesn't have it in the index. Does anyone know why they're called random 
deviates, as opposed to random numbers?

Andrew Robinson                      Ph: 208 885 7115
Department of Forest Resources       Fa: 208 885 6226
University of Idaho                  E : andrewr at uidaho.edu
PO Box 441133                        W : http://www.uidaho.edu/~andrewr
Moscow ID 83843                      Or: http://www.biometrics.uidaho.edu
No statement above necessarily represents my employer's opinion.


Ripley, B.D. 1987. Stochastic Simulation. Wiley-Interscience;

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