Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-18-27

Published in International Mathematical Forum, 2018, Vol. 13, No. 6, pp. 255-258.


In many practical situations, we have probability distributions for which, for large values of the corresponding quantity x, the probability density has the form ρ(x) ~ x−αfor some α > 0. While, in principle, we have laws corresponding to different α, most frequently, we encounter situations -- first described by Zipf for linguistics -- when α is close to 1. The fact that Zipf's has appeared frequently in many different situations seems to indicate that there must be some fundamental reason behind this law. In this paper, we provide a possible explanation.