Benford’s Law and email sizes

After reading Benford’s Law and email subjects at Yiorgos’ blog I was curious if the law stands for email sizes as well.

So I did the experiment, for a week of email traffic at a certain mail server, and here is the result:

Benford's Law vs. email sizes

Amazing, the law stands for sizes as well!


8 Replies to “Benford’s Law and email sizes”

  1. Cool! The next thing to do is to verify whether the law stands with regards to INBOX sizes. On systems with email quotas I expect a distortion on the digit that defines the quota (or the previous one) unless the quota is too high compared to the general case of inbox size.

    I just wish we could get more Postmasters measure these things. Then maybe we could find a practical use of this observation.

    1. I agree – it’s not useful in real time. And you need to know a bit more about the numbers involved before you can say a data-set that doesn’t follow the law is fake. The ages of my Facebook friends definitely don’t follow the law, but they’re all real friends.

      I might do something where I compare sets of ham and spam and see whether subject lines, length etc. follow Benford’s Law.


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