Contingency Table

Jump to: navigation, search

A contingency table is a tabular data item that summarizes frequency distribution statistics of a proper set of categorical variables.



    • In statistics, a contingency table (also referred to as cross tabulation or cross tab) is a type of table in a matrix format that displays the (multivariate) frequency distribution of the variables. It is often used to record and analyze the relation between two or more categorical variables.

      The term contingency table was first used by Karl Pearson in "On the Theory of Contingency and Its Relation to Association and Normal Correlation", part of the Drapers' Company Research Memoirs Biometric Series I published in 1904.

      A crucial problem of multivariate statistics is finding (direct-)dependence structure underlying the variables contained in high dimensional contingency tables. If some of the conditional independences are revealed, then even the storage of the data can be done in a smarter way (see Lauritzen (2002)). In order to do this one can use information theory concepts, which gain the information only from the distribution of probability, which can be expressed easily from the contingency table by the relative frequencies.