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In probability theory and statistics, the noncentral F-distribution is a continuous probability distribution that is a generalization of the (ordinary) F-distribution. It describes the distribution of the quotient (X/n1)/(Y/n2), where the numerator X has a noncentral chi-squared distribution with n1 degrees of freedom and the denominator Y has a central chi-squared distribution n2 degrees of freedom. It is also required that X and Y are statistically independent of each other.

It is the distribution of the test statistic in analysis of variance problems when the null hypothesis is false. The noncentral F-distribution is used to find the power function of such a test.

Occurrence and specification Edit

If X is a noncentral chi-squared random variable with noncentrality parameter \lambda and \nu_1 degrees of freedom, and Y is a chi-squared random variable with \nu_2 degrees of freedom that is statistically independent of X, then


is a noncentral F-distributed random variable. The probability density function for the noncentral F-distribution is [1]

=\sum\limits_{k=0}^\infty\frac{e^{-\lambda/2}(\lambda/2)^k}{ B\left(\frac{\nu_2}{2},\frac{\nu_1}{2}+k\right) k!}

when f\ge0 and zero otherwise. The degrees of freedom \nu_1 and \nu_2 are positive. The noncentrality parameter \lambda is nonnegative. The term B(x,y) is the beta function, where


The cumulative distribution function for the noncentral F-distribution is

F(x|d_1,d_2,\lambda)=\sum\limits_{j=0}^\infty\left(\frac{\left(\frac{1}{2}\lambda\right)^j}{j!}e^{-\frac{\lambda}{2}}\right)I\left(\frac{d_1x}{d_2 + d_1x}\bigg|\frac{d_1}{2}+j,\frac{d_2}{2}\right)

where I is the regularized incomplete beta function.

The mean and variance of the noncentral F-distribution are

\mbox{Does not exist}


\mbox{Does not exist}

Special cases Edit

When λ = 0, the noncentral F-distribution becomes the F-distribution.

Related distributions Edit

Z has a noncentral chi-squared distribution if

 Z=\lim_{\nu_2\to\infty}\nu_1 F

where F has a noncentral F-distribution.

Implementations Edit

The noncentral F-distribution is implemented in the R language (e.g., pf function), in MATLAB (ncfcdf, ncfinv, ncfpdf, ncfrnd and ncfstat functions in the statistics toolbox) in Mathematica (NoncentralFRatioDistribution function), in NumPy (random.noncentral_f), and in Boost C++ Libraries.[2]

A collaborative wiki page implements an interactive online calculator, programmed in R language, for noncentral t, chisquare, and F, at the Institute of Statistics and Econometrics, School of Business and Economics, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.[3]

Notes Edit

  1. S. Kay, Fundamentals of Statistical Signal Processing: Detection Theory, (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998), p. 29.
  2. John Maddock, Paul A. Bristow, Hubert Holin, Xiaogang Zhang, Bruno Lalande, Johan Råde. Noncentral F Distribution: Boost 1.39.0. URL accessed on 20 August 2011.
  3. Sigbert Klinke. Comparison of noncentral and central distributions. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

References Edit

External links Edit

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