Is there any technique to find the median of a large data set using sampling (or maybe randomized algorithms)?


1 Answer 1


Of course you can't find the median exactly without examining all the data, but you could use the sample median as an estimator of the population median.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Robert. Actually I need to find an estimation of the median (not the actual median). Is there any sample based technique to find such as estimate? $\endgroup$
    – HHH
    Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ The question is of course: How good is that estimator? The role of the sample variance for the quality of the sample average as astimator for the population mean is wellknown. What can be said for the error of the sample median as estimator for the population median? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 18:05
  • $\begingroup$ See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_median#Variance $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 20:14

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