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Prussian horse-kicks


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A set of data introduced by Bortkiewicz. It illustrates the fact that the frequencies of occurrence of unlikely events follow a Poisson distribution even when there may be variations in the probabilities of the events. Bortkiewicz's data refer to the numbers of deaths in each corps of the Prussian Army during the period 1875–94. The data, given in the table, show significant variations from year to year and from corps to corps, but have mean (0.70) and variance (0.76) approximately equal.

CORPS

1875

1876

1877

1878

1879

1880

1881

1882

1883

1884

1885

1886

1887

1888

1889

1890

1891

1892

1893

1894

G

0

2

2

1

0

0

1

1

0

3

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

I

0

0

0

2

0

3

0

2

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

2

0

3

1

0

II

0

0

0

2

0

2

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

0

0

2

0

0

III

0

0

0

1

1

1

2

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

1

2

1

0

0

0

IV

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

V

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

VI

0

0

1

0

2

0

0

1

2

0

1

1

3

1

1

1

0

3

0

0

VII

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

2

0

0

2

1

0

2

0

VIII

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

IX

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

1

1

0

2

1

1

0

1

2

0

1

0

0

X

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

2

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

1

3

0

1

1

XI

0

0

0

0

2

4

0

1

3

0

1

1

1

1

2

1

3

1

3

1

XIV

1

1

2

1

1

3

0

4

0

1

0

3

2

1

0

2

1

1

0

0

XV

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

Prussian horse-kicks. Numbers of deaths due to horse-kicks in each corps of the Prussian Army during the period 1875–94.

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.


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