Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

There can be some ambiguity in the way this is used, as to whether the outcome can be negative. For two individual numbers or quantities a, b the difference is usually taken as |ab| or the outcome of subtracting the smaller from the larger. From a set of paired values (ai, bi) the difference is usually aibi as a signed value, and the term ‘absolute difference’ should be used if |ab| is intended. For example, in a paired test in statistics it is important to retain the information as to which variable was larger in each pair.

Subjects: Mathematics.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.