Distribution Shaper

Marc Thibault, marc@smpro.ca, June 2013

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Sample Distribution:

Sometimes you don't have history to sample for an uncertain variable, or you have only a small sample set, but you need a sample distribution. This is where a subject matter expert (or a thumb in the wind) come into play. DistShaper gives you a tool to estimate the shape of a distribution you can use in your model.

Adjust the Histogram parameters to the scope of the uncertainty, then drag the histogram bars into the shape you think best characterizes it. If you hold the mouse button down, you can sketch a rough shape and then fine-tune it one bar at a time.

You can also prime the distribution by typing or pasting a comma-delimited sample set into the Sample Distribution box and clicking "Initialize Distribution".

When you're ready, set the Generator parameters and click the Generate Distribution button. You can copy and paste from the Sample Distribution box to your application.

Use the Resolution parameter to limit the sample values to the precision you would expect in the real world. All of the sample values will be integer multiples of the resolution. The distribution is normally delivered in random order, but you can have it sorted in ascending sequence by ticking the Sorted check box.

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This is a javascript application that uses the amazing ProcessingJS for graphics muscle.