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3/24/2017 Stats:IntroductiontoProbability

Stats:IntroductiontoProbability

SampleSpaces
Asamplespaceisthesetofallpossibleoutcomes.However,somesamplespacesarebetterthanothers.

Considertheexperimentofflippingtwocoins.Itispossibletoget0heads,1head,or2heads.Thus,thesample
spacecouldbe{0,1,2}.Anotherwaytolookatitisflip{HH,HT,TH,TT}.Thesecondwayisbetterbecause
eacheventisasequallylikelytooccurasanyother.

Whenwritingthesamplespace,itishighlydesirabletohaveeventswhichareequallylikely.

Anotherexampleisrollingtwodice.Thesumsare{2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12}.However,eachofthese
aren'tequallylikely.Theonlywaytogetasum2istorolla1onbothdice,butyoucangetasumof4byrolling
a13,22,or31.Thefollowingtableillustratesabettersamplespaceforthesumobtainwhenrollingtwodice.
SecondDie
FirstDie 1 2 3 4 5 6

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5 6 7 8 9 10 11
6 7 8 9 10 11 12

ClassicalProbability
Theabovetablelendsitselftodescribingdataanotherwayusingaprobabilitydistribution.Let'sconsiderthe
frequencydistributionfortheabovesums.
Sum Frequency Relative
Frequency

2 1 1/36

3 2 2/36
4 3 3/36

5 4 4/36

6 5 5/36

7 6 6/36

8 5 5/36
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9 4 4/36

10 3 3/36

11 2 2/36

12 1 1/36

Ifjustthefirstandlastcolumnswerewritten,wewouldhaveaprobabilitydistribution.Therelativefrequency
ofafrequencydistributionistheprobabilityoftheeventoccurring.Thisisonlytrue,however,iftheeventsare
equallylikely.

Thisgivesustheformulaforclassicalprobability.Theprobabilityofaneventoccurringisthenumberinthe
eventdividedbythenumberinthesamplespace.Again,thisisonlytruewhentheeventsareequallylikely.A
classicalprobabilityistherelativefrequencyofeacheventinthesamplespacewheneacheventisequally
likely.

P(E)=n(E)/n(S)

EmpiricalProbability
Empiricalprobabilityisbasedonobservation.Theempiricalprobabilityofaneventistherelativefrequencyof
afrequencydistributionbaseduponobservation.

P(E)=f/n

ProbabilityRules
Therearetworuleswhichareveryimportant.

Allprobabilitiesarebetween0and1inclusive

0<=P(E)<=1

Thesumofalltheprobabilitiesinthesamplespaceis1

Therearesomeotherruleswhicharealsoimportant.

Theprobabilityofaneventwhichcannotoccuris0.

Theprobabilityofanyeventwhichisnotinthesamplespaceiszero.

Theprobabilityofaneventwhichmustoccuris1.

Theprobabilityofthesamplespaceis1.

Theprobabilityofaneventnotoccurringisoneminustheprobabilityofitoccurring.

P(E')=1P(E)

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Continueandlearnmoreabouttherulesofprobability.

TableofContents

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