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Communications of the ACM


Straightening Out Heavy Tails

DVD popularity bar chart

Each vertical bar represents a decile of DVD popularity, with the DVDs in decile 10 being the most popular. Each bar is subdivided to demonstrate how, on average, customers who rented at least one DVD from within that decile distributed their rentals amon

Source: Quickflix

A better understanding of heavy-tailed probability distributions can improve activities from Internet commerce to the design of server farms.

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