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Discard outliers

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MATLAB live scripts support most MuPAD functionality, though there are some differences. For more information, see Convert MuPAD Notebooks to MATLAB Live Scripts.


stats::cutoff([x1, x2,...], α)
stats::cutoff([[x11, x12,...], [x21, x22, …], …], α, i)
stats::cutoff(s, α, i)


stats::cutoff([x1, x2,...], α) returns those elements of [x1, x2, …] larger than the α quantile and smaller than the 1 - α quantile of this list.

stats::cutoff([[x11, x12,...], [x21, x22,...],...], α, i) and stats::cutoff(stats::sample([[x11, x12,...], [x21, x22,...],...]), α, i) works on the i-th entries of the input rows.

Measurement data often contains "outliers," sample points rather far outside the range containing the majority of the points. While expected both from theory and experience, these outliers, for small or medium-sized samples, tend to distort statistical data, such as the mean value.

One of the standard methods dealing with this problem for (real) continuous scales is discarding the outliers. stats::cutoff discards all data points below or above a given quantile.


Example 1

Create a normally distributed sample, slightly contaminated:

r := stats::normalRandom(0, 1, Seed=2):
data := [r() $ i = 1..300, 100*r() $ i = 1..2]:

The two extra points distort the data significantly:

plot(plot::Histogram2d(data, Cells=20))

Using stats::cutoff removes this noise and the image shows more detail:

plot(plot::Histogram2d(stats::cutoff(data, 1/100), Cells=20))

stats::cutoff reduces the standard deviation of the sample. Keeping in mind that the standard deviation of the random number generator is 1, compute that of the data in its various forms:

stats::stdev(stats::cutoff(data, 1/20))


x1, x2, x11, …

Statistical data: arithmetical expressions. The data to filter on must be real-valued.


Sample of type stats::sample


Cutoff parameter: a real-valued expression .


Column index: positive integer. The nested list or the sample is filtered on its i-th column.

Return Values

The input data with outliers being removed.

See Also

MuPAD Functions

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