I am reading this paper. In section 1.1 he says:

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What do the tildes above the letters mean? How can I translate these two sentences into ordinary English?


1 Answer 1


The tilde can have a variety of meanings in different contexts, but as is made clear later in the paper, the tilde over the $p$ is being used there to indicate an empirical probability function (rather than a theoretical model/population probability function) - that is, one made from the sample proportions of each of the symbols.

That's consistent with the definition in the section you refer to.

  • $\begingroup$ so c-tilde y means how many times y is empirically observed? $\endgroup$
    – bernie2436
    May 4, 2014 at 0:39
  • $\begingroup$ That appears to be the definition, yes. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    May 4, 2014 at 0:40

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