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Probability Theory: basic concepts with examples

Probability Theory: basic concepts with examples

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Published by Abhijit Kar Gupta
Fundamental concept of probability and its applications. This lecture note will be useful for the students of natural sciences, geography, social sciences or any other branches who wish to learn the basic concept and apply.
Fundamental concept of probability and its applications. This lecture note will be useful for the students of natural sciences, geography, social sciences or any other branches who wish to learn the basic concept and apply.

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Published by: Abhijit Kar Gupta on Feb 09, 2011
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Lecture Notes by
Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta
, kg.abhi@gmail.com1
Probability theory and applications
For randomlyoccurring events, we would like to know how many times we get a desired resultout of total 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 may count how many times there is a ³Head´or a ³Tail´ out of all the flips.Let,
= No. of favourable events and
= Total no. of events.
= fraction of favourable events. We can also say this is relative frequency in the usuallanguage of Statistics. Now, if we do the trials a large number of times, this ratio
 
tends to a fixed value specific to theevent. This is the concept of probability. Note:Total no. of trials is also called µsample space¶ when we are drawing samples out of totalµpopulation¶. As the no. of trials is increased, the sample space becomes bigger.
D
efinition of Probability:
P
robability is the ratio of number of favourable events to the total number of events, provided thetotal number of events is very large (actually infinity).
, when
(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,
probabilityof not occurring the event. Since, either the event will occur or not occur, we must write:Therefore, we have
.Example #1:In a coin toss, we know from our experience,

=

and

=

=

. So,

.
 
 
 
Lecture Notes by
Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta
, kg.abhi@gmail.com2
Example #2:In a throw of a dice, we know that the probability of the dice facing ³1´ up, ³2´ up, ³3´ up etc.will be

,

,

and so on.Here,
 
P
robability of not occurring ³1´ =

. Note:The condition that the total probability of all the events has to be 1 is called
normalization
of  probabilities.
Ru
les of Probability:
When more than one event takes place, we need to calculate the joint probability for the all theevents.
Mutually Exclusive Events
Two events are mutually exclusive (or disjoint) when they can not occur at the same time.Suppose, two events are A and B and the individual probabilities for them are designated as

and

.
 Mu
u
ally excl 
us
ive
means,
 

.Addition Rule:Example#1: The probability of occurring either Head or Tail in a coin toss,


 Example#2: The probability of occurring either ³1¶ or ³6´ in a dice throw,


.
I
ndependent Events
When the occurrence of one event does not influence the other but they can occur at the sametime, they are called independent. For example, the rain fall today and the Manchester Unitedwinning a match.Multiplication Rule:
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
Lecture Notes by
Dr. Abhijit Kar Gupta
, kg.abhi@gmail.com3
Example#1: What is the probability that two Heads will occur when we toss two coins together?

for the first coin and

for the second coin.



. Note that if would flip a single coin two times and ask the probability of getting Heads twice, wewould get the same answer.Example#2: Now we ask the question, what is the probability of getting one Head and one Tailin the flipping of two coins together?Consider, the probability of obtaining Head in the first coin and Tail in the second coin:



.And the probability of obtaining Tail in the first and the Head in the second:



. Now the total probability of above two events (either of them occurs mutually exclusively):


. Note that in the flipping of two coins together, there are 4 types of events, HH, HT, TH, TT. Outof which the relative occurrence of one Head and one Tail is 2/4 = /12.
Events that are not Mutually Exclusive:
If the events are not mutually exclusive, there are some overlap. Suppose, we designate an areaA corresponding to the probability of some event A and the area B to the probability of another event B. The overlap between the two areas then represents the joint probability


. Note that for two independent events the overlap would be zero.
 
F
ig.
Addition Rule in this case:
Events that are not
I
ndependent:
Multiplication rule:
 
 
  

 
 

 
)

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