Application of the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test to seasonal phenomena may be inappropriate


  • John M. McCullough

    1. Department of Human Genetics, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, U.K. NE2 4AA and Department of Anthropology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
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The Kolmogorov-Smirnov one-sample test is sometimes used to test seasonality in births or other annually cyclic phenomena. However, it is shown that the maximum deviation from expected (D) may differ by a factor of almost two if the cycle is initiated in different months. Thus, different results are possible from the same data. Unless there is a logical initiation point in a cycle, it is probably better to use other nonparametric statistical tests.