General exact solution to the problem of the probability density for sums of random variables

Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Aug 12;89(7):070201. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.89.070201. Epub 2002 Jul 25.


The exact explicit expression for the probability density p(N)(x) for a sum of N random, arbitrary correlated summands is obtained. The expression is valid for any number N and any distribution of the random summands. Most attention is paid to application of the developed approach to the case of independent and identically distributed summands. The obtained results reproduce all known exact solutions valid for the, so called, stable distributions of the summands. It is also shown that if the distribution is not stable, the profile of p(N)(x) may be divided into three parts, namely a core (small x), a tail (large x), and a crossover from the core to the tail (moderate x). The quantitative description of all three parts as well as that for the entire profile is obtained. A number of particular examples are considered in detail.