I wonder if and , have been used interchangeably on Cross Validated?

  • [joint-distribution] was used in 255 questions; it has an excerpt and a simple wiki.
  • [bivariate] was used in 126 questions; it has a simple excerpt and no wiki.

Can they be considered synonyms? If not, would it be interesting to update the tag excerpts to emphasize what is (are) the difference(s) between them?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ At a minimum, joint-distribution strikes me as broader than bivariate, in that JD can apply to >2 variables. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 15:16
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I don't think they're interchangeable. Bivariate is a subset of joint (that adds specific, useful information) $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 15:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ When people start in statistics, they commonly work in R. But then they move on to $R^2$, and finally to $R^n$. Does that sound right? $\endgroup$
    – GeoMatt22
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ @GeoMatt22 Snuck that pun past the censors, didn't ya? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


The tag is a proper subset of .

I have updated wiki excerpts as follows:

Joint probability distribution of several random variables gives the probability that all of them simultaneously lie in a particular region.


Joint probability distribution of two variables.

Briefly looking at the questions, it seems that most questions in the [joint-distribution] are actually about bivariate distributions, even though many of them are not tagged with [bivariate]. Given that, we could consider mapping $\to$. I do not have strong feelings about this. What do people think?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I want to accept your answer, the excerpts were clarified. I hope questions will be tagged more properly from now on. The synonym suggestion, which I agree, seems to not have received enough support. If this post collects more upvotes with time, we can think of (re)bringing this issue. What do you think? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, @AndreSilva. $\endgroup$
    – amoeba
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 19:26

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