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[Haskell-cafe] Testing for statistical properties

Subject: [Haskell-cafe] Testing for statistical properties
From: Lee Pike
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2010 21:36:43 -0800

Hey everyone! I have some computations that satisfy statistical properties which I would like to test --- that is, the result of the computation is non-deterministic, but I want to check that it is sampling the distribution that it should be sampling. Is anyone aware of a Haskell library out there that does anything like this?
I don't know of a library, but here are a couple of ideas/pointers:

I wanted to do something vaguely similar in the realm of real-time hardware testing. I used QuickCheck (QC) <http://hackage.haskell.org/package/QuickCheck > to do some stochastic testing (in my case, generate test cases from the reals satisfying somewhat complex constraints), and I have a small patch to the QC library to make this possible. I have a short '09 Haskell Symposium paper about it (probably Sec. 5 is the most interesting). The paper and patch are here: <http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~lepike/pub_pages/qc-biphase.html >.
One caveat though is that I didn't check that the tests generated by
QC satisfied any particular distribution---I was assuming it is
roughly uniformly distributed. Also, I didn't investigate how to
generate other distributions, but I don't think that'd be too hard.
FYI, Bryan O'Sullivan has a statistics library <http://hackage.haskell.org/package/statistics
>, which I plan to use myself soon!
I'm personally interested in how things turn out for you---please keep
me posted.
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