Re: [Numpy-discussion] Question about numpy.random.choice with probabilties

2017-01-23 15:33 GMT+01:00 Robert Kern <robert.k...@gmail.com>:

> On Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at 6:27 AM, Anne Archibald <peridot.face...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 4:13 PM Nadav Har'El <n...@scylladb.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 4:30 PM, <josef.p...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Having more sampling schemes would be useful, but it's not possible
> to implement sampling schemes with impossible properties.
> >>>
> >>> BTW: sampling 3 out of 3 without replacement is even worse
> >>>
> >>> No matter what sampling scheme and what selection probabilities we
> use, we always have every element with probability 1 in the sample.
> >>
> >> I agree. The random-sample function of the type I envisioned will be
> able to reproduce the desired probabilities in some cases (like the example
> I gave) but not in others. Because doing this correctly involves a set of n
> linear equations in comb(n,k) variables, it can have no solution, or many
> solutions, depending on the n and k, and the desired probabilities. A
> function of this sort could return an error if it can't achieve the desired
> probabilities.
> >
> > It seems to me that the basic problem here is that the
> numpy.random.choice docstring fails to explain what the function actually
> does when called with weights and without replacement. Clearly there are
> different expectations; I think numpy.random.choice chose one that is easy
> to explain and implement but not necessarily what everyone expects. So the
> docstring should be clarified. Perhaps a Notes section:
> >
> > When numpy.random.choice is called with replace=False and non-uniform
> probabilities, the resulting distribution of samples is not obvious.
> numpy.random.choice effectively follows the procedure: when choosing the
> kth element in a set, the probability of element i occurring is p[i]
> divided by the total probability of all not-yet-chosen (and therefore
> eligible) elements. This approach is always possible as long as the sample
> size is no larger than the population, but it means that the probability
> that element i occurs in the sample is not exactly p[i].
>
> I don't object to some Notes, but I would probably phrase it more like we
> are providing the standard definition of the jargon term "sampling without
> replacement" in the case of non-uniform probabilities. To my mind (or more
> accurately, with my background), "replace=False" obviously picks out the
> implemented procedure, and I would have been incredibly surprised if it did
> anything else. If the option were named "unique=True", then I would have
> needed some more documentation to let me know exactly how it was
> implemented.
>
> FWIW, I totally agree with Robert

>
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