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from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The relatively high probability of a relatively extreme outcome.
  • n. A tail of a probability distribution with significantly higher kurtosis than a normal distribution (which has kurtosis = 0).
  • n. A tail of a probability distribution with infinite variance.


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  • In essence, as related to small-world network theory, the more connections a network node has, the fewer in number are such nodes. A graphing displays the classic "power law" pattern where the y axis = # of connections vs. the x axis = # of nodes with y connections generates a curve showing a rather steep fall-off--hence, the "fat tail".

    October 8, 2008