Fitting Heavy Tailed Distributions: The poweRlaw Package

Colin S. Gillespie

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Over the last few years, the power law distribution has been used as the data generating mechanism in many disparate fields. However, at times the techniques used to fit the power law distribution have been inappropriate. This paper describes the poweRlaw R package, which makes fitting power laws and other heavy-tailed distributions straightforward. This package contains R functions for fitting, comparing and visualizing heavy tailed distributions. Overall, it provides a principled approach to power law fitting.

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