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Quantile Analysis: A Method for Characterizing Data Distributions

Volume 42, Number 8 (Dec. 1988) Page 1512-1520

Lodder, Robert A.; Hieftje, Gary M.


Analyzing distributions of data represents a common problem in chemistry. Quantile-quantile (QQ) plots provide a useful way to attack this problem. These graphs are often used in the form of the normal probability plot, to determine whether the residuals from a fitting process are randomly distributed and therefore whether an assumed model fits the data at hand. By comparing the integrals of two probability density functions in a single plot, QQ plotting methods are able to capture the location, scale, and skew of a data set. This procedure provides more information to the analyst than do classical statistical methods that rely on a single test statistic for distribution comparisons.