Skew normal distribution
Probability density function
Cumulative distribution function
|Parameters|| location (real)
scale (positive, real)
is Owen's T function
Let denote the standard normal probability density function
with the cumulative distribution function given by
where erf is the error function. Then the probability density function of the skew-normal distribution with parameter α is given by
This distribution was first introduced by O'Hagan and Leonard (1976).
A stochastic process that underpins the distribution was described by Andel, Netuka and Zvara (1984). Both the distribution and its stochastic process underpinnings were consequences of the symmetry argument developed in Chan and Tong (1986), which applies to multivariate cases beyond normality, e.g. skew multivariate t distribution and others.
To add location and scale parameters to this, one makes the usual transform . One can verify that the normal distribution is recovered when , and that the absolute value of the skewness increases as the absolute value of increases. The distribution is right skewed if and is left skewed if . The probability density function with location , scale , and parameter becomes
Note, however, that the skewness of the distribution is limited to the interval .
Maximum likelihood estimates for , , and can be computed numerically, but no closed-form expression for the estimates is available unless . If a closed-form expression is needed, the method of moments can be applied to estimate from the sample skew, by inverting the skewness equation. This yields the estimate
where , and is the sample skew. The sign of is the same as the sign of . Consequently, .
The maximum (theoretical) skewness is obtained by setting in the skewness equation, giving . However it is possible that the sample skewness is larger, and then cannot be determined from these equations. When using the method of moments in an automatic fashion, for example to give starting values for maximum likelihood iteration, one should therefore let (for example) .
- Andel, J., Netuka, I. and Zvara, K. (1984). On threshold autoregressive processes. Kybernetika, 20, 89-106.
- Azzalini, A. (1985). "A class of distributions which includes the normal ones". Scandinavian Journal of Statistics 12: 171–178.
- Chan, K-S. and Tong, H. (1986). A note on certain integral equations associated with non-linear time series analysis. Probability and Related Fields, 73, 153-158.
- O'Hagan, A. and Leonard, T. (1976). Bayes estimation subject to uncertainty about parameter constraints. Biometrika, 63, 201-202.
- A very brief introduction to the skew-normal distribution
- The Skew-Normal Probability Distribution (and related distributions, such as the skew-t)
- OWENS: Owen's T Function
- Closed-skew Distributions - Simulation, Inversion and Parameter Estimation