I was looking for a specific question related to the probability integral transform, i.e., the theorem which states that if $X$ has a continous distribution, then $F_X(X)$ has the uniform distribution. I read this question some time ago and I made the mistake not to favorite it, so I cannot retrieve it any more. This question had comments by user @whuber, which pointed out that the usual proof which assumes $F_X(x)$ to be strictly increasing is needlessly restrictive. I tried to look for questions about "probability integral transform", both on Cross Validated and on Math Exchange, but the ones I found were not the right one: I guess the question didn't have "probability integral transform" in the title or maybe not even in the question body . I'm not sure how I could retrieve the question...I don't think I can search for comments by a specific user, and anyway since the user in question is very active, I would get far too many hits. Any suggestions?


2 Answers 2


@whuber has provided some good suggestions for search strategies. You may still have difficulty finding it, however, and as he notes, it could have been deleted.

Given the apparent value of the information that was contained in the thread, and the difficulty finding it, another possibility is to ask a new question of your own. You could ask a question with a better title and more appropriate tags, for instance. That would make the thread easier to find in the future. This benefits the sites mission in that we hope to create a repository of high-quality statistical information for future reference. But if that information cannot be found by anyone, it isn't any good. Thus, your new question, while arguably a duplicate, would do the site a service.

  • $\begingroup$ you're right, I'll write a new question! Thanks for the suggestion. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaIV
    Apr 29, 2016 at 11:55

It's possible the post or the entire thread was deleted, in which case it will be inaccessible to most (and difficult even for moderators to find). Let's assume that's not the case.

Although our site offers some useful search options (such as searching according to question or answer, number of votes, and so on) it can be useful to exploit Web search engines. For instance, in this case you remembered the name of a user and some key words. You can use them in a Google search like this:

site:stats.stackexchange.com whuber probability integral transform

There are some promising hits. The trick (obviously) is the site: part of the search string. It focuses on our entire site and it can pick up comments.

As a general rule, using my name in a Google search is not going to be helpful: in my role as moderator I have commented on a sizable proportion of all threads. One site search option I have found very helpful, though, is to include the id of any user you think might have contributed a question or answer. You will have to use our own site search capability for this. For example, I recall user "glen_b" wrote at least one nice answer about histograms. A good way, then, to find this answer--and possibly others like it--is to look up his id (search for it on the Users page) and include it in the search:

user:805 histogram

Sorting the results by votes brings the post I was looking for right to the top of a set of related posts.

  • $\begingroup$ thanks for the answer! I tried looking for the post I was talking about using your suggestions, but I couldn't find it, so probably it was deleted. Both yours and @gung 's answer were great, but finally I chose his, because I'm going to follow his advice :) PS a small addition to your question. Finding your User id was actually a bit tricky...if I click on your icon in the Users page, I'm redirected to your User profile...continued $\endgroup$
    – DeltaIV
    Apr 29, 2016 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ ...continued. Now, in this page, the User id is not inside the white part of the page, containing your icon, your profile description, tags, posts, etc..it's actually the only info about yourself which is written in light grey inside the search toolbox, in the upper-right corner of the page. Took me quite some time to find it :) $\endgroup$
    – DeltaIV
    Apr 29, 2016 at 11:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DeltaIV: you can see the id in the URL address. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Apr 29, 2016 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ @amoeba right! I didn't notice it. Looks like I also didn't have a look at the upper-left corner of the screen :) $\endgroup$
    – DeltaIV
    Apr 29, 2016 at 13:50

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