Quoting from paper Int. J. Climatol. 21: 1371–1384 (2001)

The Wakeby distribution (WAD), defined by Thomas and introduced by Houghton (1978), is defined by the quantile function: $$ x(F) = \xi + \alpha \frac{1 - \left(1-F\right)^\beta}{\beta} - \gamma \frac{1 - \left(1-F\right)^{-\delta}}{\delta} $$

The article by Houghton, "Birth of a Parent: The Wakeby distribution for modeling flood flows" only says the following about the name:

This paper introduces a new five-parameter distribution, which we have named the Wakeby, ...

Harold A. Thomas, Jr. was Houghton's Ph.D. advisor.

Q: Who or what is the Wakeby distribution named after?


Here is a partly conflicting story. My source is James R. Wallis' privately published biography.

Harold A. Thomas Jr (1913-2002) suggested this 5-parameter distribution. John Greenwood and James R. Wallis named it:

We called the distribution the Wakeby because Thomas's letter had come from Cape Cod, where he summered on Wakeby Pond.

Wallis, J. 2010. The Education of Jim Wallis. Brunswick, ME: Camden Writers. p.183.

On Thomas, see here.

For a map of Wakeby Pond, see here.


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