# Terminal digit preference: beware of Benford’s law

@article{Beer2009TerminalDP, title={Terminal digit preference: beware of Benford’s law}, author={Trevor William Beer}, journal={Journal of Clinical Pathology}, year={2009}, volume={62}, pages={192 - 192} }

Recording numerical data in pathology reports is routine and in some cases may provide valuable prognostic data (eg, tumour size for cancer staging). Hayes has recently observed that there is a tendency for reporters to favour 0 and 5 as the last digits in measurements “terminal digit preference”.1 This is perhaps not surprising as gross measurements are often approximations taken in a relatively imprecise fashion (eg, holding a ruler to an irregularly shaped and flexible tissue sample), and…

## 18 Citations

Terminal digit preference and the accuracy of breast cancer diameter reporting based on Benford's law

- MedicineAnnals of medicine and surgery
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Benford's Law for Quality Assurance of Manner of Death Counts in Small and Large Databases

- MathematicsJournal of forensic sciences
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The manner of death data in this study showed qualities consistent with Benford's law, a mathematical law used for quality assurance in accounting, which has potential as a quality assurance metric in the manner ofDeath determination for both small and large databases.

The Newcomb-Benford Law in Its Relation to Some Common Distributions

- MathematicsPloS one
- 2010

It is shown here by simulation that long right-tailed distributions of a random variable are compatible with the NBL, and that for distributions of the ratio of two random variables the fit generally improves and distributions not putting most mass on small values of the random variable fail to fit.

Benford or not Benford: new results on digits beyond the first

- Mathematics
- 2018

In this paper, we will see that the proportion of d as p th digit, where p > 1 and d ∈ 0, 9, in data (obtained thanks to the hereunder developed model) is more likely to follow a law whose…

BeyondBenford: An R Package to Determine Which of Benford's or BDS's Distributions is the Most Relevant

- Computer Science
- 2019

The package BeyondBenford compares the goodness of fit of Benford's and Blondeau Da Silva's digit distributions in a dataset and proposes to quantify the goodness-of-fit via Pearson's chi-squared test.

Numeracy for Language Models: Evaluating and Improving their Ability to Predict Numbers

- Computer ScienceACL
- 2018

This paper explores different strategies for modelling numerals with language models, such as memorisation and digit-by-digit composition, and proposes a novel neural architecture that uses a continuous probability density function to model numerals from an open vocabulary.

Benford or Not Benford: A Systematic But Not Always Well-Founded Use of an Elegant Law in Experimental Fields

- Computer ScienceCommunications in Mathematics and Statistics
- 2019

A way to accurately model certain naturally occurring collections of data and find a better adjusted law than Benford’s Law, where the physical, biological or economical quantities considered are upper bounded.

Assessing the reliability of self-reported weight for the management of heart failure: application of fraud detection methods to a randomised trial of telemonitoring

- Medicine, PsychologyBMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
- 2017

Fraud detection methods are applied to electronic medical data to assess preferences for numbers ending in these digits in order to inform medical decision making and produce clinically significant information that can inform the design of initiatives to improve the accuracy of reporting.

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It remains uncertain whether or not digit preference occurs in the context of colorectal carcinoma reporting, as pathologists may round off measurement values with a prior knowledge that this would have no effect on patient management.

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