power law

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power law (plural power laws)

  1. (mathematics) A mathematical relationship in which the magnitude of something is proportional to a fixed power of the magnitude of something else (i.e. the relationship takes the form f(x) = a.xk). [from 20th c.]
    • 2011, Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Penguin 2012, p. 314:
      the death toll from a large number of small civil wars is lower than that from a few big interstate wars, to say nothing of world wars, consistent with the power-law distribution of deadly quarrels.