I would have thought that could be a synonym of . But I can't create the synonym myself because I don't have the upvotes for it. What does everyone else think?

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Probability and statistics though related can be seen as separate topics. In my mind the former is more about thought experiments and understanding processes and the latter more about data and their description. They have clearly defined function sets that don't overlap too much. We have the distribution family, with Expectation and Probability on one side, and Mean, Skewness, LocationTest and what have you on the other. Catching them under the same tag would be similar to grouping topics such as animation and graphics.

I realize my position is weakened by the docs themselves which also group them quite often. There's even a Statistics and Probability guide page. And Mean c.s. work on distributions, so that could be confusing. I suggest we wait whether this will be a problem and if we see such a pattern emerging do something then and not now.

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  • This was my first reaction as well. Probability and statistics are definitely separate topics within mathematics. But if we look at the related functions available in Mathematica, I think it makes sense to merge them. – Szabolcs May 2 '12 at 8:47
  • Also, I should add here that Mathematica is not really strong with symbolic probabibility-theory, as there is no built-in method for e.g. event-algebra (see this and of course your question on SO). – István Zachar May 2 '12 at 15:41
  • +1 People have done a pretty good job so far at maintaining a distinction between the two tags. Merging them would lose this information. As a general policy, the default action to take with tags is to let them emerge organically from the questions and how the community interacts with them. Merging and making synonyms are useful for correcting obvious errors, but please don't go overboard with that. – whuber May 3 '12 at 20:38

J.M.'s comment suggests a possible solution of using as the tag, with both and being synonyms.

I'm happy to create the tag and its wiki and retag everything tonight, but that will bump quite a lot of questions all at once.

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    no no! don't edit them all! edit one question to create the tag, then get a mod to merge probability, statistics into the new tag, which will then be set as master – rm -rf May 2 '12 at 4:14
  • oh, that's a much better idea. Except that I just discovered that there is a 25-character limit to tag names. So instead we now have probability-and-stats. Created now, and flagged for tag merger. – Verbeia May 2 '12 at 4:21
  • I am waiting for some further community support before initiating this process. – Mr.Wizard May 2 '12 at 4:27
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    probability-statistics is within the 25-character limit. Why not that? – J. M.'s technical difficulties May 2 '12 at 4:36
  • @J.M. just that it reads like "probability statistics", i.e. statistics about probability. Maybe I'm reading too much into that distinction. Do tag names allow ampersands? – Verbeia May 2 '12 at 5:40
  • @Verbeia No, ampersands are silently stripped out. So it'll read as blah--blah – rm -rf May 2 '12 at 19:09
  • What about slashes? [tag:probability/statistics] ... doesn't seem to work. – celtschk May 2 '12 at 20:08
  • What about stochastics? – celtschk May 2 '12 at 20:12
  • Now we have three tags instead of one or two. I think at least one out of the three should go away. – Szabolcs Mar 4 '14 at 1:48

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