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# Probability Distributions

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

## Department of Mathematics MMSU - CAS

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

INTRODUCTION

Many probability problems involve assigning probabilities to the outcomes of a probability experiment. These probabilities and the corresponding outcomes make up a probability distribution.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

INTRODUCTION

Many probability problems involve assigning probabilities to the outcomes of a probability experiment. These probabilities and the corresponding outcomes make up a probability distribution. In mathematics, a variable can assume dierent values. For example, if one records the temperature outside every hour for a 24-hour period, temperature is considered a variable since it assumes dierent values. Variables whose values are due to chance are called random variables.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

INTRODUCTION

Many probability problems involve assigning probabilities to the outcomes of a probability experiment. These probabilities and the corresponding outcomes make up a probability distribution. In mathematics, a variable can assume dierent values. For example, if one records the temperature outside every hour for a 24-hour period, temperature is considered a variable since it assumes dierent values. Variables whose values are due to chance are called random variables.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

When a die is rolled, the value of the spots on the face up occurs by chance; hence, the number of spots on the face up on the die is considered to be a random variable.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

When a die is rolled, the value of the spots on the face up occurs by chance; hence, the number of spots on the face up on the die is considered to be a random variable. The outcomes of a die are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and the probability of each outcome occurring is 1 6. The outcomes and their corresponding probabilities can be written in a table, as shown, and make up what is called a probability distribution.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

When a die is rolled, the value of the spots on the face up occurs by chance; hence, the number of spots on the face up on the die is considered to be a random variable. The outcomes of a die are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and the probability of each outcome occurring is 1 6. The outcomes and their corresponding probabilities can be written in a table, as shown, and make up what is called a probability distribution.

A probability distribution consists of the values of a random variable and their corresponding probabilities.
PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are two kinds of probability distributions. They are discrete and continuous.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are two kinds of probability distributions. They are discrete and continuous. A discrete variable has a countable number of values (countable means values of zero, one, two, three, etc.). For example, when four coins are tossed, the outcomes for the number of heads obtained are zero, one, two, three, and four.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are two kinds of probability distributions. They are discrete and continuous. A discrete variable has a countable number of values (countable means values of zero, one, two, three, etc.). For example, when four coins are tossed, the outcomes for the number of heads obtained are zero, one, two, three, and four. When a single die is rolled, the outcomes are one, two, three, four, ve, and six. These are examples of discrete variables.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

A continuous variable has an innite number of values between any two values. Continuous variables are measured.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

A continuous variable has an innite number of values between any two values. Continuous variables are measured. For example, temperature is a continuous variable since the variable can assume any value between 108 and 208 or any other two temperatures or values for that matter. Height and weight are continuous variables. Of course, we are limited by our measuring devices and values of continuous variables are usually rounded o.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Example Construct a discrete probability distribution for the number of heads when three coins are tossed.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Example Construct a discrete probability distribution for the number of heads when three coins are tossed. SOLUTION: The sample space for tossing three coins is TTT, TTH, THT, HTT, HHT, HTH, THH, and HHH.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Example Construct a discrete probability distribution for the number of heads when three coins are tossed. SOLUTION: The sample space for tossing three coins is TTT, TTH, THT, HTT, HHT, HTH, THH, and HHH. The outcomes can be arranged according to the number of heads, as shown. 0 1 2 3 heads head heads heads TTT TTH, THT, HTT THH, HTH, HHT HHH

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

A discrete probability distribution can also be shown graphically by labeling the x axis with the outcomes and the y axis represent the probabilities. The graph for the discrete probability distribution of the number of heads occurring when three coins are tossed is shown in the following gure.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many kinds of discrete probability distributions; however, the distribution of the number of heads when three coins are tossed is a special kind of distribution called a binomial distribution.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many kinds of discrete probability distributions; however, the distribution of the number of heads when three coins are tossed is a special kind of distribution called a binomial distribution. A binomial distribution is obtained from a probability experiment called a binomial experiment. The experiment must satisfy these conditions:
1

Each trial can have only two outcomes or outcomes that can be reduced to two outcomes. The outcomes are usually considered as a success or a failure.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many kinds of discrete probability distributions; however, the distribution of the number of heads when three coins are tossed is a special kind of distribution called a binomial distribution. A binomial distribution is obtained from a probability experiment called a binomial experiment. The experiment must satisfy these conditions:
1

Each trial can have only two outcomes or outcomes that can be reduced to two outcomes. The outcomes are usually considered as a success or a failure. There is a xed number of trials.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many kinds of discrete probability distributions; however, the distribution of the number of heads when three coins are tossed is a special kind of distribution called a binomial distribution. A binomial distribution is obtained from a probability experiment called a binomial experiment. The experiment must satisfy these conditions:
1

Each trial can have only two outcomes or outcomes that can be reduced to two outcomes. The outcomes are usually considered as a success or a failure. There is a xed number of trials. The outcomes of each trial are independent of each other.

2 3

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many kinds of discrete probability distributions; however, the distribution of the number of heads when three coins are tossed is a special kind of distribution called a binomial distribution. A binomial distribution is obtained from a probability experiment called a binomial experiment. The experiment must satisfy these conditions:
1

Each trial can have only two outcomes or outcomes that can be reduced to two outcomes. The outcomes are usually considered as a success or a failure. There is a xed number of trials. The outcomes of each trial are independent of each other. The probability of a success must remain the same for each trial.

2 3 4

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

In order to determine the probability of a success for a single trial of a probability experiment, the following formula can be used.
n Cx p x

(1 p )nx

where n is the total number of trials x is the number of successes (1, 2, 3, ..., n) p is the probability of a success The formula has three parts: n Cx determines the number of ways a success can occur, p x is the probability of getting x successes, and (1 p )nx is the probability of getting n x failures.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Example An archer hits the bulls eye 80% of the time. If he shoots 5 arrows, nd the probability that he will get 4 bulls eyes. SOLUTION: n = 5, x = 4, p = 0.8, 1 p = 1 0.8 = 0.2 P (4bulls eyes) =
4 1 5 C4 (0.8) (0.2)

= 5(0.08192) = 0.4096

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many types of discrete probability distributions besides the binomial distribution. The most common ones are the multinomial distribution, the hypergeometric distribution, the geometric distribution, and the Poisson distribution.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many types of discrete probability distributions besides the binomial distribution. The most common ones are the multinomial distribution, the hypergeometric distribution, the geometric distribution, and the Poisson distribution. The multinomial distribution is an extension of the binomial distribution and is used when there are three or more independent outcomes for a probability experiment.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many types of discrete probability distributions besides the binomial distribution. The most common ones are the multinomial distribution, the hypergeometric distribution, the geometric distribution, and the Poisson distribution. The multinomial distribution is an extension of the binomial distribution and is used when there are three or more independent outcomes for a probability experiment. The hypergeometric distribution is used when sampling is done without replacement. The geometric distribution is used to determine the probability of an outcome occurring on a specic trial. It can also be used to nd the probability of the rst occurrence of an outcome.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

There are many types of discrete probability distributions besides the binomial distribution. The most common ones are the multinomial distribution, the hypergeometric distribution, the geometric distribution, and the Poisson distribution. The multinomial distribution is an extension of the binomial distribution and is used when there are three or more independent outcomes for a probability experiment. The hypergeometric distribution is used when sampling is done without replacement. The geometric distribution is used to determine the probability of an outcome occurring on a specic trial. It can also be used to nd the probability of the rst occurrence of an outcome. The Poisson distribution is used when the variable occurs over a period of time, over a period of area or volume, etc.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Recall that a continuous random variable can assume all values between any two given values. For example, the heights of adult males is a continuous random variable since a persons height can be any number. Many continuous variables can be represented by formulas and graphs or curves. In order to nd probabilities for values of a variable, the area under the curve between two given values is used. One of the most often used continuous probability distributions is called the normal probability distribution. Many variables are approximately normally distributed and can be represented by the normal distribution.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

## The Normal Distribution

The normal distribution has the following properties:
1 2

3 4

It is bell-shaped. The mean, median, and mode are at the center of the distribution. It is symmetric about the mean. The total area under the curve is 1 or 100%.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

About 0.68 or 68% of the area under the curve falls within one standard deviation of the mean. About 0.95 or 95% of the area under the curve falls within two standard deviations of the mean. About 1.00 or 100% of the area falls within three standard deviations of the mean.
PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Example The mean commuting time between a persons home and oce is 24 minutes. The standard deviation is 2 minutes. Assume the variable is normally distributed. Find the probability that it takes a person between 24 and 28 minutes to get to work. SOLUTION:

Based on the gure: 0.341 + 0.136 = 0.477 Hence the probability that the commuter will take between 24 and 28 minutes is about 48%.
PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

Example The scores on a national achievement exam are normally distributed with a mean of 500 and a standard deviation of 100. If a student who took the exam is randomly selected, nd the probability that the student scored below 600. SOLUTION:

0.341 + 0.341 + 0.136 + 0.023 = 0.841 or 84.1%. Hence, the probability of a randomly selected student scoring below 600 is 84%.
PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

## The Standard Normal Distribution

The normal distribution can be used as a model to solve many problems about variables that are approximately normally distributed.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

## The Standard Normal Distribution

The normal distribution can be used as a model to solve many problems about variables that are approximately normally distributed. Since each variable has its own mean and standard deviation, we use what is called the standard normal distribution to solve the problems.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

## The Standard Normal Distribution

The normal distribution can be used as a model to solve many problems about variables that are approximately normally distributed. Since each variable has its own mean and standard deviation, we use what is called the standard normal distribution to solve the problems. The standard normal distribution has all the properties of a normal distribution, but the mean is zero and the standard deviation is one.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

## The Standard Normal Distribution

The normal distribution can be used as a model to solve many problems about variables that are approximately normally distributed. Since each variable has its own mean and standard deviation, we use what is called the standard normal distribution to solve the problems. The standard normal distribution has all the properties of a normal distribution, but the mean is zero and the standard deviation is one.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS

Probability Distributions

A value for any variable that is approximately normally distributed can be transformed into a standard normal value by using the following formula: z= x value mean = standard deviation

## The standard normal values are called z values or z scores.

PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTIONS