Is noise with uniform distribution present in some real-life applications?

It seems that most of the internet sources describe uniform noise as something theoretical.


1 Answer 1


Typically, when a real value $x$ from a sensor is discretized ($x_Q$) with a uniform quantizer, the error $x-x_Q$ is likely to be uniformly distributed.

Caveat: as commented by @bone, this can be stated in precise terms, see for instance:

In this paper, a necessary and sufficient condition is given to model the output of a quantizer as an infinite-precision input and an additive, uniform, white noise. The statistical properties of the quantization error are studied, and a detailed analysis for Gaussian distributed inputs is given.

  • Statistical Theory of Quantization, Bernard Widrow, Istvan Kollar, Ming-Chang Liu, 1996

The effect of uniform quantization can often be modeled by an additive noise that is uniformly distributed, uncorrelated with the input signal, and has a white spectrum. This paper surveys the theory behind this model, and discusses the conditions of its validity. The application of the model to floating-point quantization is demonstrated.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Strictly speaking, the quantization error is not a random signal if the input is known. It is modeled as uniform noise because it simplifies the analysis and gives good enough results. $\endgroup$
    – bone
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ You notice that I wrote "likely" to make it short (now put in bold).I have now added some references. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 9:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.