numpy.random.poisson

numpy.random.poisson(lam=1.0, size=None)

Draw samples from a Poisson distribution.

The Poisson distribution is the limit of the binomial distribution for large N.

Note

New code should use the poisson method of a default_rng() instance instead; please see the Quick Start.

Parameters
lamfloat or array_like of floats

Expectation of interval, must be >= 0. A sequence of expectation intervals must be broadcastable over the requested size.

sizeint or tuple of ints, optional

Output shape. If the given shape is, e.g., (m, n, k), then m * n * k samples are drawn. If size is None (default), a single value is returned if lam is a scalar. Otherwise, np.array(lam).size samples are drawn.

Returns
outndarray or scalar

Drawn samples from the parameterized Poisson distribution.

See also

Generator.poisson

which should be used for new code.

Notes

The Poisson distribution

f(k; \lambda)=\frac{\lambda^k e^{-\lambda}}{k!}

For events with an expected separation \lambda the Poisson distribution f(k; \lambda) describes the probability of k events occurring within the observed interval \lambda.

Because the output is limited to the range of the C int64 type, a ValueError is raised when lam is within 10 sigma of the maximum representable value.

References

1

Weisstein, Eric W. “Poisson Distribution.” From MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/PoissonDistribution.html

2

Wikipedia, “Poisson distribution”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisson_distribution

Examples

Draw samples from the distribution:

>>> import numpy as np
>>> s = np.random.poisson(5, 10000)

Display histogram of the sample:

>>> import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
>>> count, bins, ignored = plt.hist(s, 14, density=True)
>>> plt.show()
../../../_images/numpy-random-poisson-1_00_00.png

Draw each 100 values for lambda 100 and 500:

>>> s = np.random.poisson(lam=(100., 500.), size=(100, 2))