Don't compare averages

Holger Bast, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We point out that for two sets of measurements, it can happen that the average of one set is larger than the average of the other set on one scale, but becomes smaller after a non-linear monotone transformation of the individual measurements. We show that the inclusion of error bars is no safeguard against this phenomenon. We give a theorem, however, that limits the amount of "reversal" that can occur; as a by-product we get two non-standard one-sided tail estimates for arbitrary random variables which may be of independent interest. Our findings suggest that in the not infrequent situation where more than one cost measure makes sense, there is no alternative other than to explicitly compare averages for each of them, much unlike what is common practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science
EditorsS.E. Nikoletseas
Pages67-76
Number of pages10
Volume3503
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Workshop on Experimental and Efficient Algorithms, WEA 2005 - Santorini Island, Greece
Duration: 10 May 200513 May 2005

Other

Other4th International Workshop on Experimental and Efficient Algorithms, WEA 2005
CountryGreece
CitySantorini Island
Period10/5/0513/5/05

Fingerprint

Random variables
Byproducts
Costs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Bast, H., & Weber, I. (2005). Don't compare averages. In S. E. Nikoletseas (Ed.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Vol. 3503, pp. 67-76)

Don't compare averages. / Bast, Holger; Weber, Ingmar.

Lecture Notes in Computer Science. ed. / S.E. Nikoletseas. Vol. 3503 2005. p. 67-76.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Bast, H & Weber, I 2005, Don't compare averages. in SE Nikoletseas (ed.), Lecture Notes in Computer Science. vol. 3503, pp. 67-76, 4th International Workshop on Experimental and Efficient Algorithms, WEA 2005, Santorini Island, Greece, 10/5/05.
Bast H, Weber I. Don't compare averages. In Nikoletseas SE, editor, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Vol. 3503. 2005. p. 67-76
Bast, Holger ; Weber, Ingmar. / Don't compare averages. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. editor / S.E. Nikoletseas. Vol. 3503 2005. pp. 67-76
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