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# Probability, Random Variables and Random

## Processes with applications to Signal Processing

Ganesh.G
Member(Research Staff),
Central Research Laboratory, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bangalore-13

02/May/2007 1 of 30
ganesh.crl@gmail.com

Notes :

1
Organization of the Topic

## Probability, Random Variables and Random

Processes with applications to Signal Processing

Random Random
Random
Variables with Processes
Processes with
with
Probability Applications to Applications
Applications to
to
Signal Signal
Signal
Processing Processing
Processing
Part-1 Part-2 Part-3

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Notes :

2
Contents – 1. Probability
• Probability
– Why study Probability
– Four approaches to Probability definition
– A priori and A posteriori Probabilities
– Concepts of Joint, Marginal, Conditional and Total Probabilities
– Baye’s Theorem and its applications
– Independent events and their properties
• Tips and Tricks
• Example

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Notes :

3
Contents – 2. Random Variables
• The Concept of a Random Variable
– Distribution and Density functions
– Discrete, Continuous and Mixed Random variables
– Specific Random variables: Discrete and Continuous
– Conditional and Joint Distribution and Density functions
• Functions of One Random Variable
– Transformations of Continuous and Discrete Random variables
– Expectation
– Moments: Moments about the origin, Central Moments, Variance
and Skew
– Characteristic Function and Moment Generating Functions
– Chebyshev and Shwarz Inequalities
– Chernoff Bound

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Notes :

## 1. Distribution and Density functions/ Discrete, Continuous and Mixed

Random variables/ Specific Random variables: Discrete and
Continuous/ Conditional and Joint Distribution and Density
functions
2. Why functions of Random variables are important to signal
processing/ Transformations of Continuous and Discrete Random
variables/ Expectation/ Moments: Moments about the origin, Central
Moments, Variance and Skew/ Functions that give Moments:
Characteristic Function and Moment Generating Functions/
Chebyshev and Shwarz Inequalities/ Chernoff Bound

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Contents – 2. Random Variables Contd..
• Multiple Random Variables
– Joint distribution and density functions
– Joint Moments (Covariance, Correlation Coefficient, Orthogonality)
and Joint Characteristic Functions
– Conditional distribution and density functions
• Random Vectors and Parameter Estimation
– Expectation Vectors and Covariance Matrices
– MMSE Estimator and ML Estimator
• Sequences of Random Variables
– Random Sequences and Linear Systems
– WSS and Markov Random Sequences
– Stochastic Convergence and Limit Theorems /Central Limit Theorem
– Laws of Large Numbers

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Notes :

## 1. Functions of two Random variables/ Joint distribution and density

functions/ Joint Moments (Covariance, Correlation Coefficient,
Orthogonality) and Joint Characteristic Functions/ Conditional
distribution and density functions
2. Expectation Vectors and Covariance Matrices/ Linear Estimator,
MMSE Estimator/ ML Estimators {S&W}*
3. Random Sequences and Linear Systems/ WSS Random Sequences
/Markov Random Sequences {S&W} / Stochastic Convergence and
Limit Theorems/ Central Limit Theorem {Papoulis} {S&W}/ Laws
of Large Numbers {S&W}
*Note: Shown inside the brackets {..} are codes for Reference Books.
See page 30 of 30 of this document for references.

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Contents – 3. Random Processes
• Introduction to Random Processes
– The Random Process Concept
– Stationarity, Time Averages and Ergodicity
– Some important Random Processes
• Wiener and Markov Processes
• Spectral Characteristics of Random Processes
• Linear Systems with Random Inputs
– White Noise
– Bandpass, Bandlimited and Narrowband Processes
• Optimum Linear Systems
– Systems that maximize SNR
– Systems that minimize MSE

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Notes :

## 1. Correlation functions of Random Processes and their properties –

{Peebles}; {S&W}; {Papoulis}
2. Power Spectral Density and its properties, relationship with
autocorrelation ; White and Colored Noise concepts and definitions-
{Peebles}
3. Spectral Characteristics of LTI System response; Noise Bandwidth-
{Peebles};{S&W}
4. Matched Filter for Colored Noise/White Noise; Wiener Filters-
{Peebles}

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Contents – 3. Random Processes Contd..
• Some Practical Applications of the Theory
– Noise in an FM Comm.System
– Noise in a Phase-Locked Loop
– Radar Detection using a single Observation
– False Alarm Probability and Threshold in GPS
• Applications to Statistical Signal Processing
– Wiener Filters for Random Sequences
– Expectation-Maximization Algorithm(E-M)
– Hidden Markov Models (and their specifications)
– Spectral Estimation
– Simulated Annealing

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Notes :

## 1. {Peebles}; Consider ‘Code Acquisition’ scenario in GPS

applications for one example in finding the false alarm rate
2. Kalman Filtering; Applications of HMM (Hidden Markov Model)s
to Speech Processing –{S&W}

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Probability ………….Part 1 of 3

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Notes :

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Why study Probability

## • Probability plays a key role in the description of

noise like signals
• Nearly uncountable number of situations where we
cannot make any categorical deterministic
assertion regarding a phenomenon because we
cannot measure all the contributing elements
• Probability is a mathematical model to help us
study physical systems in an average sense
• Probability deals with averages of mass phenomena
occurring sequentially or simultaneously:
– Noise, Radar Detection, System Failure, etc

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Notes :

1. {R.G.Brown},pp1
2. {S&W},pp2
3. {S&W},pp2
4. {Papoulis}, pp1 [ 4.1Add Electron Emission, telephone calls,
queueing theory, quality control, etc.]
5. Extra: {Peebles} pp2: [How do we characterize random signals:
One:how to describe any one of a variety of a random phenomena–
Contents shown in Random Variables is required; Two: how to bring
time into the problem so as to create the random signal of interest--
Contents shown in Random Processes is required] – ALL these
CONCEPTS are based on PROBABILITY Theory.

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Four approaches to Probability definition

• Probability as Intuition

nE
• Probability as the ratio of P[A] =
n
Favorable to Total Outcomes

P[A] = Lim E
n
• Probability as a measure
n→∞ n
of Frequency of Occurrence

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Notes :

## 1. Refer their failures from {Papoulis} pp6-7

2. {S&W} pp2-4
3. Slide not required!? Only of Historical Importance?
4. Classical Theory or ratio of Favorable to Total Outcomes approach
cannot deal with outcomes that are not equally likely and it cannot
handle uncountably infinite outcomes without ambiguity.
5. Problem with relative frequency approach is that we can never
perform the experiment infinite number of times so we can only
estimate P(A) from a finite number of trails.Despite this, this
approach is essential in applying probability theory to the real world.

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Four approaches to Probability definition

## (i) P ( A) ≥ 0 (Probabili ty is a nonnegativ e number)

(ii) P (Ω ) = 1 (Probabili ty of the whole set is unity)
(iii) If A ∩ B = φ , then P ( A ∪ B ) = P ( A) + P ( B ).

- A.N.Kolmogorov

## • P(A1+ A2+ + An) = 1

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Notes :

## 1. Experiment, Sample Space, Elementary Event (Outcome), Event,

Discuss the equations why they are so? - :Refer {Peebles},pp10
2. Axiomatic Theory Uses- Refer {Kolmogorov}
3. Consider a simple resistor R = V(t) / I(t) - is this true
under all conditions? Fully accurate?(inductance and
capacitance?)clearly specified terminals? Refer{Papoulis}, pp5
4. Mutually Exclusive/Disjoint Events? [(refer point (iii) above) when
P(AB) = 0]. When a set of Events is called
Partition/Decomposition/Exhaustive (refer last point in the above
slide); what is its use?(Ans: refer Tips and Tricks page of this
document )

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A priori and A posteriori Probabilities

• A priori Probability
– Relating to reasoning from self-evident propositions or
presupposed by experience
Before the Experiment
is conducted

• A posteriori Probability
– Reasoning from the observed facts
After the Experiment
is conducted

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Notes :

1. {S&W}, pp3
2. Also called ‘Prior Probability’ and ‘Posterior Probability’
3. Their role; Baye’s Theorem: Prior: Two types: Informative Prior and
Uninformative(Vague/diffuse) Prior; Refer {Kemp},pp41-42

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Concepts of Joint, Marginal, Conditional and Total
Probabilities

## • Let A and B be two experiments

– Either successively conducted OR simultaneously
conducted

## • Let A1+ A2+ + An be a partition of A and

B1+ B2+ + Bn be a partition of B

## • This leads to the Array of Joint and Marginal

Probabilities

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Notes :

1. {R.G.Brown} pp12-13
2. Conditional probability, in contrast, usually is explained through
relative frequency interpretation of probability see for example
{S&W} pp16

13
Concepts of Joint, Marginal, Conditional and Total
Probabilities

## B Event B1 Event B2 Event Bn Marginal

Probabiliti
A es

Event A1 P ( A1 ∩ B1 ) P( A1 ∩ B2 ) P( A1 ∩ Bn ) P(A1)
Event A2 P ( A2 ∩ B1 ) P ( A2 ∩ B2 ) P ( A2 ∩ Bn ) P(A2)

Event An P ( An ∩ B1 ) P ( An ∩ Bn ) P(A2)
Marginal P(B1) P(B2) P(Bn) SUM = 1
Probabilities

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Notes :

## 1. From {R.G.Brown} pp12-13

2. Joint Probability?
3. What happens if Events A1,A2,….An are not a partition but just
some disjoint/Mutually Exclusive Events?Similarly for Events Bs?
4. Summing out a row for example gives the probability of an event A
of Experiment A irrespective of the oucomes of Experiment A
5. Why they are called marginal? (because they used to be written in
margins)
6. Sums of the Shaded Rows and Columns..

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Concepts of Joint, Marginal, Conditional and Total
Probabilities

## B Event B1 Event B2 Event Bn Marginal

Probabiliti
A es

Event A1 P ( A1 ∩ B1 ) P( A1 ∩ B2 ) P( A1 ∩ Bn ) P(A1)
Event A2 P ( A2 ∩ B1 ) P ( A2 ∩ B2 ) P ( A2 ∩ Bn ) P(A2)

Event An P ( An ∩ B1 ) P ( An ∩ Bn ) P(A2)
Marginal P(B1) P(B2) P(Bn) SUM = 1
Probabilities

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Notes :

## 1. From {R.G.Brown} pp12-13

2. This table also contains information about the relative frequency of
occurrence of various events in one experiment given a particular
event in the other experiment .
3. Look at the Column with Red Box outline.Since no other entries of
the table involve B2, list of these entries gives the relative
distribution of events A1,A2,…..An given B2 has occurred.
4. However, Probabilities shown in the Red Box are not Legitimate
Probabilities!(Because their sum is not unity, it is P(B2) ). So,
imagine renormalizing all the entries in the column by dividing by
P(B2). The new set of numbers then is P(A1.B2)/P(B2),
P(A2.B2)/P(B2) … P(An.B2)/P(B2) and their sum is unity. And the
relative distribution corresponds to the relative frequency of
occurrence events A1,A2,…..An given B2 has occurred.
5. This heuristic reasoning leads us to the formal definition of
‘Conditional Probability’.

15
Concepts of Joint, Marginal, Conditional and Total
Probabilities

## • Conditional Probability : a measure of “the event A given that

B has already occurred”. We denote this conditional
probability by
P(A|B) = Probability of “the event A given
that B has occurred”.
We define
P ( AB )
P( A | B) = ,
P( B)
provided P( B) ≠ 0.
The above definition satisfies all probability axioms discussed
earlier.

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Notes :

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Concepts of Joint, Marginal, Conditional and Total
Probabilities

## • Let A1, A2, An be a partition on the probability

space A
• Let B be any event defined over the same
probability space.
Then,
P(B) = P(B|A1)P(A1)+P(B|A2)P(A2)+ +P(B|An)P(An)

## P(B) is called the “average” or “Total” Probability

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Notes :

1. {S&W} pp20
2. Average because expression looks likes averaging; Total because
P(B) is sum of parts
3. In shade is ‘Total Probability Theorem’

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Baye’s Theorem and its applications

• Bayes theorem:
– One form: P ( AB ) P ( AB )
P( A | B) = , P ( B | A) =
P( B) P ( A)

hence, P ( B | A) P ( A )
P( A | B) =
P(B)

– Other form:

P ( B | Ai ) P ( Ai )
P ( Ai | B ) = n
,

i =1
P ( B | Ai ) P ( Ai )

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Notes :

1. {Peebles} pp16
2. What about P(A) and P(B); both should not be zero or only P(B)
should not be zero?
3. Ai’s form partition of Sample Space A; B is any event on the same
space

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Baye’s Theorem and its applications

## • Consider Elementary Binary Symmetric Channel

BSC
‘0’ or ‘1’ ‘0’ or ‘1’
P(0t) = 0.4 & Channel Effect P(0r) = ? &
P(1t) = 0.6 P(1r|1t) = 0.9 & P(1r) = ?
P(0r|1t) = 0.1
Symmetric; 0t is no different
System Errors (BER)? Out of 100 Zeros/Ones
received, how many are in errors?

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Notes :

1. {Peebles} pp17
2. BSC Transition Probabilities

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Baye’s Theorem and its applications

## • P(0r) = 0.42 and P(1r) = 0.58 using total probability theorem

(for each or P(1r) = 1- P(0r) )
• Using Baye’s Theorem:

– P(0t|0r) = 0.857
– P(1t|0r) = 0.143 14 are in errors
– P(0t|1r) = 0.069 6.9 are in errors
P(0t) = 0.4 &
P(1t) = 0.6
– P(0t|0r) = 0.931
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Notes :

1. {Peebles}
2. Average BER of the system is [(14 x 60 % )+ (6.9 x 40%) ] =
11.16% > 10% Erroneous Channel effect. This is due to unequal
probabilities of 0t and 1t.
3. What happens if 0t and 1t are equi-probable? P(1t|0r) = 10% =
P(0t|1r); and average BER of the system is [(10 x 50 % )+ (10 x
50%) ] = 10% = Erroneous Channel effect
4. Add: Bayesian methods of inference involve the systematic
formulation and use of Baye’s Theorem. These approaches are
distinguished from other statistical approaches in that, prior to
obtaining the data, the statistician formulates degrees of belief
concerning the possible models that may give rise to the data. These
degrees of belief are regarded as probabilities. {Kemp} pp41 “
Posterior odds are equal to the likelihood ratio times the prior odds.”
[Note:Odds on A = P(A)/P(Ac); Ac= A compliment]

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Independent events and their properties
• Let two events A and B have nonzero probabilities of
occurrence; assume P( A) ≠ 0 & P( B) ≠ 0.

## • We call these independent if occurrence of one event is not

affected by the other event
P(A|B) = P(A) and P(B|A) = P(A)

• Consequently,

Test
P ( AB ) = P ( A ) ⋅ P ( B ) for
Independece

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Notes :

1. {Peebles} pp19
2. Can two independent events be mutually exclusive? Never (see the
first point in the slide; when both P(A) and P(B) are non-zero, how
can P(AB) be zero? ).

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Independent events and their properties
• Independence of Multiple Events: independence by pairs
(pair-wise) is not enough.
• E.g., in case of three events A, B, C; the are
independent if and only if they are independent
pair-wise and are also independent as a triple,
satisfying the following four equations:

P ( AB ) = P ( A ) ⋅ P ( B )
P ( BC ) = P ( B ) ⋅ P ( C ) P ( ABC ) = P ( A ) ⋅ P ( B ) ⋅ P ( C )
P ( AC ) = P ( A ) ⋅ P ( C )

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Notes :

1. {Peebles} pp19-20
2. How many Equations are needed for ‘N’ Events to be independent?
2^n – 1 – n (add 1+n to nc2+…+ncn and find what it is and subtract
the same from that)

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Independent events and their properties
• Many properties of independent events can be summarized by
the statement:

## “If N events are independent then any of

them is independent of any event formed by
unions, intersections and complements of
the others events.”

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Notes :

1. {Peebles} pp20

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Tips and Tricks

## • Single most difficult step in solving probability

problems:
Correct Mathematical Modeling

## • Many difficult problems can be solved by ‘going the

other way’ and by recursion principle
• Model independent events in solving
• Use conditioning and partitioning to solve tough
problems

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Notes :

## 1. {Peebles} and {Papoulis}

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Example
“simple textbook examples” to practical problems of interest
•Day-trading strategy : A box contains n randomly numbered balls (not
1 through n but arbitrary numbers including numbers greater than n).
•Suppose a fraction of those balls are initially − say m = np ; p < 1 −
drawn one by one with replacement while noting the numbers on those
balls.
•The drawing is allowed to continue until a ball is drawn with a
number larger than the first m numbers.

## Determine the fraction p to be initially drawn, so as to

maximize the probability of drawing the largest among the n
numbers using this strategy.

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Notes :

1. Example and all notes relating to this example are taken with
humble gratitude in mind from S.Unnikrishnan Pillai’s Web support
for the book “A. Papoulis, S.Unnikrishnan Pillai, Probability,
Random Variables and Stochastic Processes, 4th Ed: McGraw Hill,
2002”

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Example

## •Let “X = ( k + 1) stdrawn ball has the largest number among all n

k
balls, and the largest among the first k balls is in the group of first m
balls, k > m.”

## •Note that X k is of the form A ∩ B,

where
A = “largest among the first k balls is in the
group of first m balls drawn” and
B = “(k+1)st ball has the largest number among
all n balls”.

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Notes :

## 1. P(A) = m/k and P(B) = 1/n

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Example
Notice that A and B are independent events, and
hence 1 m 1 np p
P ( X k ) = P ( A) P ( B ) = = = .
nk n k k

## Where m = np represents the fraction of balls to be

initially drawn.
This gives
P (“selected ball has the largest number among all
balls”) = n −1 P( X ) = p n −1 1 ≈ p n 1 = p ln k n
∑ k ∑k ∫ np k np
k =m k =m

= − p ln p.

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Notes :

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Example
Maximization of the desired probability with respect to
p gives d
(− p ln p ) = −(1 + ln p ) = 0
dp
or p = e−1 0.3679.

## The maximum value for the desired probability

of drawing the largest number also equals 0.3679

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Notes :

1. Interestingly the above strategy can be used to “play the stock market”.
2. Suppose one gets into the market and decides to stay up to 100 days. The stock
values fluctuate day by day, and the important question is when to get out?
3. According to the above strategy, one should get out at the first opportunity after 37
days, when the stock value exceeds the maximum among the first 37 days. In that
case the probability of hitting the top value over 100 days for the stock is also
about 37%. Of course, the above argument assumes that the stock values over the
period of interest are randomly fluctuating without exhibiting any other trend.
4. Interestingly, such is the case if we consider shorter time frames such as inter-day
trading. In summary if one must day-trade, then a possible strategy might be to get
in at 9.30 AM, and get out any time after 12 noon (9.30 AM + 0.3679 6.5 hrs =
11.54 AM to be precise) at the first peak that exceeds the peak value between 9.30
AM and 12 noon. In that case chances are about 37% that one hits the absolute top
5. Author’s note: The same example can be found in many ways in other contexts,
e.g., Puzzle No.34 “The Game of Googol” from {M.Gardner}; the ancient Indian
concept of ‘Swayamvara’ to name a few.

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What Next?
• Random Variables with applications to Signal Processing
– The Concept of a Random Variable
– Functions of One Random Variable
– Multiple Random Variables Part - 2
– Random Vectors and Parameter Estimation
– Sequences of Random Variables

## • Random Processes with Applications to Signal Processing

– Introduction to Random Processes
– Spectral Characteristics of Random Processes
– Linear Systems with Random Inputs
Part - 3
– Optimum Linear Systems
– Some Practical Applications of the Theory
– Applications to Statistical Signal Processing

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Notes :

29
References
• 1. A. Papoulis, S.Unnikrishnan Pillai, Probability, Random Variables
and Stochastic Processes, 4th Ed: McGraw Hill,2002. {Papoulis}
• 2. Henry Stark, John W.Woods, Probability and Random Processes with
Applications to Signal Processing,3rd Ed: Pearson Education, 2002. {S&W}
• 3. Peebles Peyton Z., Jr, Probability, Random Variables and Random
Signal Principles,2nd Ed: McGraw Hill,1987. {Peebles}
• 4. Norman L.Johnson, Adrienne W.Kemp, Samuel Kotz, Univariate
Discrete Distributions, 3rd Ed: Wiley, 2005. {Kemp}
• 5. A.N.Kolmogorov, Foundations of the Theory of Probability: Chelsea,
1950. {Kolmogorov}
• 6. Robert Grover Brown, Introduction to Random Signal analysis and
Kalman Filtering: John Wiley,1983. {R.G.Brown}
• 7. J.L.Doob, Stochastic Processes:John Wiley,1953 {Doob}
• 8. Martin Gardner, My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles: Dover
Publications, Inc, New York, 1994. {M.Gardner}

02/May/2007 30 of 30

Notes :

1. Shown in the { } brackets are the codes used to annotate them in the
notes area.

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