This question: Sum of Gaussian mixture and Gaussian scale mixture

In its current form it is clear enough. The OP did not specify the word "independent", but it is quite clear that is intended.

Please vote for reopen.

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps, you could help the OP by editing that question; or maybe providing guidance with comments to help him making an own improvement. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 12:23
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I edited the question now. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ The question is clearer w/ your edits. That is actually what I first thought might be being asked, but when I went back & read more closely, I was no longer sure, so I voted to close. W/ your clearer statement of the question (& the OP's thumbs up in comments), I have voted to re-open. It is open again now. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


I can answer 20% of why this question was closed, being one of the five close voters. The question has been edited since, and may well be edited again, so I won't make a running commentary on whether I think the current state of the question deserves to be reopened.

Here is my general thought process about question clarity, which I ran through when looking at the question.

  1. In principle a question should be clearly and unambiguously stated in the self-contained text of the question itself. This includes the title — if the title and body ask for different things, I would urge the original poster (OP) to urgently clarify what they want and may vote to close.
  2. Nevertheless, the OP often reveals what they really want in the comments. Therefore, if the totality of the OP's question and comments are unclear or contradictory, I would vote to close even if the original question was clear in its own right (because if the OP has asked an apparently clear question but this is not what they intended to ask, they need to go back and edit; if the question was left as it is then the thread of questions and contradictory comments will cause confusion to future readers).
  3. I generally think unclear or confusing questions should be closed as quickly as possible. This approach may sound aggressive, but it is not my wish to remove such questions altogether — just to give breathing space for editing and clarification to occur. By the time different answers start appearing, interpreting the question in different ways, a thread can degenerate very quickly. If the thread is left up for future public consumption, readers are going to find it a nightmare to find the information they were searching for. If a question (and comments) are unclear to me, they are likely to also mystify the future readers that this site should be doing its utmost to cater for.
  4. I remain somewhat cautious about deeming questions unclear if that might be because I don't understand something, but someone with more expertise in an area would understand it immediately. If I see someone I know is a subject expert commenting on the thread, I will pay heed to their opinion.

In this case, on point (1) the question had a clear title and I thought it had the potential to be a nice little question. But the body of the question did not define its terms clearly. On point (2), if you read the comments, there are clear contradictions between the question body and statements by the OP about what situation they are dealing with. On point (3), the question's lack of clarity has already attracted an answer that the OP was unsatified with. (4) The fact that Prof. Xi'an thought what the OP was after (looking at both question and comments) was "impenetrable" was conclusive enough that it "wasn't just me".

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    $\begingroup$ (+1) Completely agree. Even if a closed question seems all right to me I won't re-open it before it's been edited: the five users who've voted to close it are representative enough of potential answerers to show it is unclear in the only sense that matters to us. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 15:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Much good stuff here. I actually think that if a question is unclear to you -- even in an area you're not totally familiar with -- it probably should be clarified so as to be more broadly understood. In particular I am not keen to see essentially the same question three times with different sets of jargon and notation (yet sometimes that's what happens). $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 3:17

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