Premium A new look at Halley's life tablePremium
Bellhouse David R.
journal of the royal statistical society: series a (statistics in society)
Summary. Edmond Halley published his Breslau life table in 1693, which was arguably the first in the world based on population data. By putting Halley's work into the scientific context of his day and through simple plots and calculations, new insights into Halley's work are made. In particular, Halley tended to round his numbers and to massage his data for easier presentation and calculation. Rather than highlighting outliers as would be done in a modern analysis, Halley instead smoothed them out. Halley's method of life table construction for early ages is examined. His lifetime distribution at higher ages, which is missing in his paper, is reconstructed and a reason is suggested for why Halley neglected to include these ages in his table.
Subject(s)archaeology , computer science , context (archaeology) , data mining , history , mathematics , medicine , outlier , presentation (obstetrics) , radiology , statistics , table (database)
SCImago Journal Rank1.103
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