# What's the meaning of 'statistical break'? And how to calculate it?

I am reading a paper named "EPRI-GTC Overhead Electric Transmission Line Siting Methodology", and in this paper the author uses "the first statistical break in its histogram" to determine the corridor boundary. And there is no description about the meaning of 'statistical break' and how to calculate it in this paper.

I can't find any info about the term 'statistical break' by Google. Please help me if you know something about it.

Here are some sentences in this paper:

In each scenario, the Macro Corridor boundary is determined by the first statistical break in its histogram.

The boundaries of these corridors are chosen by the first statistical break in the histogram.

• Welcome to CV! Please give the full reference. – Scortchi - Reinstate Monica Dec 10 '14 at 10:09
• As far as I know, it's not a term in common use; it may be used more in some particular application areas. – Glen_b Dec 10 '14 at 11:06
• Can you give some examples? – user30150 Dec 11 '14 at 2:56

## 1 Answer

Breaks of the histogram are the boundaries of different bins (example here). They can be set by a user or calculated using one of the many possible algorithms (see e.g. R's hist function documentation). However, the breakpoints are subjective in their nature - they can vary depending of the algorithm you used or parameters of the algorithm, so using them as a statistical criteria without mentioning the algorithm or heuristic used for determining them seems strange for me.

• It says:A statistical break occurs when the grid cell value, as shown on the X-axis of the histogram, abruptly decreases. But I think it is so arbitrary and maybe can't get "the statistical break". – user30150 Dec 10 '14 at 8:59