numpy.cov(m, y=None, rowvar=True, bias=False, ddof=None, fweights=None, aweights=None)[source]

Estimate a covariance matrix, given data and weights.

Covariance indicates the level to which two variables vary together. If we examine N-dimensional samples, X = [x_1, x_2, ... x_N]^T, then the covariance matrix element C_{ij} is the covariance of x_i and x_j. The element C_{ii} is the variance of x_i.

See the notes for an outline of the algorithm.

m : array_like

A 1-D or 2-D array containing multiple variables and observations. Each row of m represents a variable, and each column a single observation of all those variables. Also see rowvar below.

y : array_like, optional

An additional set of variables and observations. y has the same form as that of m.

rowvar : bool, optional

If rowvar is True (default), then each row represents a variable, with observations in the columns. Otherwise, the relationship is transposed: each column represents a variable, while the rows contain observations.

bias : bool, optional

Default normalization (False) is by (N - 1), where N is the number of observations given (unbiased estimate). If bias is True, then normalization is by N. These values can be overridden by using the keyword ddof in numpy versions >= 1.5.

ddof : int, optional

If not None the default value implied by bias is overridden. Note that ddof=1 will return the unbiased estimate, even if both fweights and aweights are specified, and ddof=0 will return the simple average. See the notes for the details. The default value is None.

New in version 1.5.

fweights : array_like, int, optional

1-D array of integer frequency weights; the number of times each observation vector should be repeated.

New in version 1.10.

aweights : array_like, optional

1-D array of observation vector weights. These relative weights are typically large for observations considered “important” and smaller for observations considered less “important”. If ddof=0 the array of weights can be used to assign probabilities to observation vectors.

New in version 1.10.

out : ndarray

The covariance matrix of the variables.

See also

Normalized covariance matrix


Assume that the observations are in the columns of the observation array m and let f = fweights and a = aweights for brevity. The steps to compute the weighted covariance are as follows:

>>> m = np.arange(10, dtype=np.float64)
>>> f = np.arange(10) * 2
>>> a = np.arange(10) ** 2.
>>> ddof = 9 # N - 1
>>> w = f * a
>>> v1 = np.sum(w)
>>> v2 = np.sum(w * a)
>>> m -= np.sum(m * w, axis=None, keepdims=True) / v1
>>> cov = * w, m.T) * v1 / (v1**2 - ddof * v2)

Note that when a == 1, the normalization factor v1 / (v1**2 - ddof * v2) goes over to 1 / (np.sum(f) - ddof) as it should.


Consider two variables, x_0 and x_1, which correlate perfectly, but in opposite directions:

>>> x = np.array([[0, 2], [1, 1], [2, 0]]).T
>>> x
array([[0, 1, 2],
       [2, 1, 0]])

Note how x_0 increases while x_1 decreases. The covariance matrix shows this clearly:

>>> np.cov(x)
array([[ 1., -1.],
       [-1.,  1.]])

Note that element C_{0,1}, which shows the correlation between x_0 and x_1, is negative.

Further, note how x and y are combined:

>>> x = [-2.1, -1,  4.3]
>>> y = [3,  1.1,  0.12]
>>> X = np.stack((x, y), axis=0)
>>> np.cov(X)
array([[11.71      , -4.286     ], # may vary
       [-4.286     ,  2.144133]])
>>> np.cov(x, y)
array([[11.71      , -4.286     ], # may vary
       [-4.286     ,  2.144133]])
>>> np.cov(x)

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