I have this probability distribution:


where $x\in \mathbb{N}$. If not for this factor $\frac{1}{1-\exp(-\lambda)}$, this would be Poisson distribution. What is its name?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ For what values of $x$? Are you sure the probabilities sum to $1$? $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2015 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ Hint: what values can $x$ take? $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2015 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JuhoKokkala: Snap! $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2015 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ You must specify the range of $x$! Without that, the definition is not precise. We cannot, for instance, decide if the probabilities sum to 1 or not. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2015 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ Where does $\mathbb{N}$ start for you? Nought or one? $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2015 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


I have found the name. It's called "Zero-truncated Poisson distribution".

Source: Johnson L., Kemp A., Kotz S., Univariate Discrete Distributions 3rd edition, Wiley, p. 188

  • $\begingroup$ (+1) Note that $\exp(-\lambda) = \Pr(X=0)$ when $X$ is a Poisson random variable. So the mass function can be recognized as $\frac{\Pr(X=x)}{\Pr(X >0)}=\Pr(X=x \mid x>0)$, the Poisson probability of a count conditional on its being greater than nought. $\endgroup$ Dec 15, 2015 at 11:41

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