A short Course on Probability Theory and Sampling, originally prepared as lecture notes for M.Sc. (Geography) students of Vidyasagar Univ, WB, India. Compiled by Dr. A. Kar Gupta, firstname.lastname@example.org, Physics Deptt, Panskura B. College, WB, India
PROBABILITY and SAMPLING
Concept of Probability, the Probability Rules, Probability Distributions and Applications
For randomly occurring events, we would like to know how many times we get a desired result out of all trials. This means we would like to know the fraction of favourable events or trails. Suppose, we flip a coin a few number of times. We know there is a 50-50 chance of occurring a Head or a Tail. We may count how many times there
is a “Head” or a “Tail” out of all the flips.
= No. of favourable events and
= Total no. of events.
= fraction of favourable events. We can also say this is
in the usual language of Statistics. Now, if we do the trials a large number of times, this fraction
tends to some fixed value specific to the event. Then the limiting value of the fraction is what we call
Total no. of trials is also called ‘sample space’ when we are drawing samples out of total ‘population’. As the no. of trials is increased, the sample space becomes bigger.
Definition of Probability:
Probability is the ratio of number of favourable events to the total number of events, provided the total number of events is very large (actually infinity).
(infinity). So by definition,
is a fraction between 0 and 1 :
No favourable outcome.
All the outcomes are in favour. We can also think in the following way:
probability of occurring an event,
probability of not occurring the event. Since, either the event will occur or not occur, we must write: