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The Poisson Probability Distribution

# The Poisson Probability Distribution

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The Poisson probability distribution, named after the French mathematician Siméon-Denis. Poisson is another important probability distribution of a discrete random variable that has a large number of applications. Suppose a washing machine in a Laundromat breaks down an average of three times a month. We may want to find the probability of exactly two breakdowns during the next month. This is an example of a Poisson probability distribution problem.
The Poisson probability distribution, named after the French mathematician Siméon-Denis. Poisson is another important probability distribution of a discrete random variable that has a large number of applications. Suppose a washing machine in a Laundromat breaks down an average of three times a month. We may want to find the probability of exactly two breakdowns during the next month. This is an example of a Poisson probability distribution problem.

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09/19/2013

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Statistics
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Sub: Statistics Topic: Poisson Probability
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T
HE
P
OISSON
P
ROBABILITY
D
ISTRIBUTION

The Poisson probability distribution, named after the French mathematician Siméon-Denis. Poisson isanother important probability distribution of a discrete random variable that has a large number of applications. Suppose a washing machine in a Laundromat breaks down an average of three times amonth. We may want to find the probability of exactly two breakdowns during the next month. This isan example of a Poisson probability distribution problem. Each breakdown is called an
occurrence
inPoisson probability distribution terminology. The Poisson probability distribution is applied toexperiments with random and independent occurrences. The occurrences are random in the sensethat they do not follow any pattern, and, hence, they are unpredictable. Independence of occurrencesmeans that one occurrence (or nonoccurrence) of an event does not influence the successiveoccurrences or nonoccurrences of that event. The occurrences are always considered with respect toan interval. In the example of the washing machine, the interval is one month. The interval may be atime interval, a space interval, or a volume interval. The actual number of occurrences within aninterval is random and independent. If the average number of occurrences for a given interval isknown, then by using the Poisson probability distribution, we can compute the probability of a certainnumber of occurrences,
x
, in that interval. Note that the number of actual occurrences in an interval isdenoted by
x
.The following three conditions must be satisfied to apply the Poisson probability distribution.1.
x
is a discrete random variable.2. The occurrences are random.3. The occurrences are independent.

Sub: Statistics Topic: Poisson Probability
*
The Homework solutions from Classof1 are intended to help students understand the approach to solving the problem and not forsubmitting the same in lieu of their academic submissions for grades.
The following are three examples of discrete random variables for which the occurrences are randomand independent. Hence, these are examples to which the Poisson probability distribution can beapplied.1. Consider the number of telemarketing phone calls received by a household during a given day. Inthis example, the receiving of a telemarketing phone call by a household is called an occurrence, theinterval is one day (an interval of time), and the occurrences are random (that is, there is no specifiedtime for such a phone call to come in) and discrete. The total number of telemarketing phone callsreceived by a household during a given day may be 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. The independence of occurrences in this example means that the telemarketing phone calls are received individually andnone of two (or more) of these phone calls are related.2. Consider the number of defective items in the next 100 items manufactured on a machine. In thiscase, the interval is a volume interval (100 items). The occurrences (number of defective items) arerandom and discrete because there may be 0, 1, 2, 3, ..., 100 defective items in 100 items. We canassume the occurrence of defective items to be independent of one another.3. Consider the number of defects in a 5-foot-long iron rod. The interval, in this example, is a spaceinterval (5 feet). The occurrences (defects) are random because there may be any number of defectsin a 5-foot iron rod. We can assume that these defects are independent of one another.