Determination of Confidence Limits for Experiments with Low Numbers of Counts
Abstract
Two different methods, classical and Bayesian, for determining confidence intervals involving Poissondistributed data are compared. Particular consideration is given to cases where the number of counts observed is small and is comparable to the mean number of background counts. Reasons for preferring the Bayesian over the classical method are given. Tables of confidence limits calculated by the Bayesian method are provided for quick reference.
 Publication:

The Astrophysical Journal
 Pub Date:
 June 1991
 DOI:
 10.1086/170124
 Bibcode:
 1991ApJ...374..344K
 Keywords:

 Bayes Theorem;
 Confidence Limits;
 Photon Density;
 Poisson Density Functions;
 Supernova 1987a;
 Charge Coupled Devices;
 Error Analysis;
 Gamma Ray Astronomy;
 Probability Distribution Functions;
 STATISTICS AND PROBABILITY;
 GAMMA RAYS: GENERAL;
 NUMERICAL METHODS;
 XRAYS: GENERAL