## Exploratory Data Analysis: Conceptual Foundations of Empirical Cumulative Distribution Functions

June 24, 2013 11 Comments

#### Introduction

Continuing my recent series on exploratory data analysis (EDA), this post focuses on the conceptual foundations of empirical cumulative distribution functions (CDFs); in a separate post, I will show how to plot them in R. (Previous posts in this series include descriptive statistics, box plots, kernel density estimation, and violin plots.)

To give you a sense of what an empirical CDF looks like, here is an example created from 100 randomly generated numbers from the standard normal distribution. The ecdf() function in R was used to generate this plot; the entire code is provided at the end of this post, but read my next post for more detail on how to generate plots of empirical CDFs in R.

**Read to rest of this post to learn what an empirical CDF is and how to produce the above plot!
**

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