Moving Average

In statistics, a moving average, also called rolling average, rolling mean or running average, is a type of finite impulse response filter used to analyze a set of data points by creating a series of averages of different subsets of the full data set.

Given a series of numbers and a fixed subset size, the first element of the moving average is obtained by taking the average of the initial fixed subset of the number series. Then the subset is modified by "shifting forward", that is excluding the first number of the series and including the next number following the original subset in the series. This creates a new subset of numbers, which is averaged. This process is repeated over the entire data series. The plot line connecting all the (fixed) averages is the moving average. A moving average is a set of numbers, each of which is the average of the corresponding subset of a larger set of datum points. A moving average may also use unequal weights for each datum value in the subset to emphasize particular values in the subset.

A moving average is commonly used with time series data to smooth out short-term fluctuations and highlight longer-term trends or cycles. The threshold between short-term and long-term depends on the application, and the parameters of the moving average will be set accordingly. For example, it is often used in technical analysis of financial data, like stock prices, returns or trading volumes. It is also used in economics to examine gross domestic product, employment or other macroeconomic time series. Mathematically, a moving average is a type of convolution and so it can be viewed as an example of a low-pass filter used in signal processing. When used with non-time series data, a moving average filters higher frequency components without any specific connection to time, although typically some kind of ordering is implied. Viewed simplistically it can be regarded as smoothing the data.

Read more about Moving Average:  Simple Moving Average, Cumulative Moving Average, Weighted Moving Average, Exponential Moving Average, Other Weightings, Moving Median

Famous quotes containing the words moving and/or average:

    We are all talkers
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    Meaning, untidy and simple like a threshing floor.
    John Ashbery (b. 1927)

    Whether or not his newspaper and a set of senses reduced to five are the main sources of the so-called “real life” of the so- called average man, one thing is fortunately certain: namely, that the average man himself is but a piece of fiction, a tissue of statistics.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)