In statistics, a Tsallis distribution is a probability distribution derived from the maximization of the Tsallis entropy under appropriate constraints. There are several different families of Tsallis distributions, yet different sources may reference an individual family as "the Tsallis distribution". The q-Gaussian is a generalization of the Gaussian in the same way that Tsallis entropy is a generalization of standard Boltzmann–Gibbs entropy or Shannon entropy. Similarly, if the domain of the variable is constrained to be positive in the maximum entropy procedure, the q-exponential distribution is derived.
The Tsallis distributions have been applied to problems in the fields of statistical mechanics, geology, anatomy, astronomy, economics, finance, and machine learning. The distributions are often used for their heavy tails.
In a similar procedure to how the normal distribution can be derived using the standard Boltzmann–Gibbs entropy or Shannon entropy, the q-Gaussian can be derived from a maximization of the Tsallis entropy subject to the appropriate constraints.
Common Tsallis distributions
- Tsallis, C. (2009) "Nonadditive entropy and nonextensive statistical mechanics-an overview after 20 years", Braz. J. Phys, 39, 337–356
- Juniper, J. (2007) "The Tsallis Distribution and Generalised Entropy: Prospects for Future Research into Decision-Making under Uncertainty", Centre of Full Employment and Equity, The University of Newcastle, Australia