Postprint version. Published in Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Volume 115, Issue 10, October 1, 2005, pages 1723-1743. Copyright © 2005 Elsevier. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spa.2005.05.003.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Theodore P. Hill was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
A random variable X is digit-regular (respectively, significant-digit-regular) if the probability that every block of k given consecutive digits (significant digits) appears in the b-adic expansion of X approaches b-k as the block moves to the right, for all integers b>1 and k≥1. Necessary and sufficient conditions are established, in terms of convergence of Fourier coefficients, and in terms of convergence in distribution modulo 1, for a random variable to be digit-regular (significant-digit-regular), and basic relationships between digit-regularity and various classical classes of probability measures and normal numbers are given. These results provide a theoretical basis for analyses of roundoff errors in numerical algorithms which use floating-point arithmetic, and for detection of fraud in numerical data via using goodness-of-fit of the least significant digits to uniform, complementing recent tests for leading significant digits based on Benford's law.