# Convert exponential to normal distribution

For the distribution shown below, I want to convert the exponential distribution to a normal distribution. I want to do this is as part of data pre-processing so that the classifier can better interpret the feature (named ipc here). The regular log transformation does not work here because of the (x-axis) spread.

How can I transform this data to a normal distribution?

A related answer has been pointed out in the comment but I am looking for some Python code excerpt as well.

Thanks

• If those ipc values are discrete then it cannot be done - at least not deterministically. If they are continuous, and you can assume a p.d.f., then it would be possible. Are they discrete (it looks so on the graph)? – Neil Slater May 12 '17 at 23:03
• I have another metric which is continuous and has an exponential distribution. So how can I convert for that metric? – sandyp May 12 '17 at 23:06
• – David Z May 12 '17 at 23:15
• @DavidZ Thanks, I actually saw that but was hoping for some code to achieve that. I should probably highlight this requirement in my question as well. – sandyp May 13 '17 at 0:00
• Write it yourself. The inverse normal CDF in that recipe is accessible through what scipy calls the percent point function (ppf). – Emre May 13 '17 at 0:08

You can use sklearn.preprocessing.QuantileTransformer (or sklearn.preprocessing.PowerTransformer) which does exactly what you want:

from sklearn.preprocessing import QuantileTransformer
import numpy as np

ey = np.random.exponential(size=100)
qt = QuantileTransformer(output_distribution='normal')
no = qt.fit_transform(ey.reshape(-1, 1))


You can plot histograms to compare "before" vs "after":

# Plot histograms to see before vs after.
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline
plt.subplot(2, 2, 1)
plt.hist(ey, bins='auto')
plt.subplot(2, 2, 2)
plt.hist(no, bins='auto')
plt.show() The advantage of this approach is that it will also work for other input distributions, not only exponential.

The following code works:

import scipy
import numpy as np

ey = np.random.exponential(size=100)
cdfy = scipy.stats.expon.cdf(np.sort(ey))
invcdf = scipy.stats.norm.ppf(cdfy) # a normal distribution


Hope this helps