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Math Help - Help deriving an equation.

  1. #1
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    Help deriving an equation.

    I believe that the following two equations are equivalent, but I am unable to algebraically derive one from the other. For computing a running average, I believe the following formula is correct where n = number of values in oldMean:

    newMean = ((oldMean * n) + newVal ) / (n + 1) .

    Similarly, I found this equation which I think does the same thing:

    newMean = oldMean + (newVal - oldMean) / (n + 1) .

    Are these equations in fact equivalent? They both seem to work when calculating a running average. If they are equivalent, how do I derive one from the other?

    Thank you. This seems like an easy problem, but I've managed to confuse myself.
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
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    Re: Help deriving an equation.

    Let's denote oldMean by m, newMean by m' and newVal by v. Then

    m'=\frac{mn+v}{n+1}=\frac{mn+m-m+v}{n+1}=\frac{m(n+1)+v-m}{n+1}=m+\frac{v-m}{n+1}
    Thanks from datanewb
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