Early History

  • D. J. Daley
  • D. Vere-Jones
Part of the Springer Series in Statistics book series (SSS)


The ancient origins of the modern theory of point processes are not easy to trace, nor is it our aim to give here an account with claims to being definitive. But any retrospective survey of a subject must inevitably give some focus on those past activities that can be seen to embody concepts common with the modern theory. Accordingly, this first chapter is a historical indulgence, but with the added benefit of describing certain fundamental concepts informally and in a heuristic fashion prior to possibly obscuring them with a plethora of mathematical jargon and techniques. These essentially simple ideas appear to have emerged from four distinguishable strands of enquiry—although our division of material may sometimes be a little arbitrary. These are
  1. (i)

    life tables and the theory of self-renewing aggregates;

  2. (ii)

    counting problems;

  3. (iii)

    particle physics and population processes; and

  4. (iv)

    communication engineering.



Poisson Distribution Point Process Life Table Early History Negative Binomial Distribution 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Daley
    • 1
  • D. Vere-Jones
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Statistics Institute for Advanced StudyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsVictoria UniversityWellingtonNew Zealand

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