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COGNITIVE AND PROCEDURAL LEARNING

TOPIC: PROBABILISTIC MODELS


1. A game of chance consists of rolling three ordinary six-sided dice. The player
bets $1 per game, and wins $1 for each occurrence of the number 6 on any of the
dice, retaining the original bet in that case. How much is the expected amount to
win in this game?

Solution:
We define the random variable
𝑋 = dollars gained on the game
and the event
𝐴𝑖 = dice 𝑖 shows 6 𝑖 = 1, 2, 3
with probability
1
𝑃(𝐴𝑖 ) = 6

We then analyze the possible results of the experiment:


i. No 6 is gotten on any dice. Gambler loses his bet. (𝑥 = −1)
ii. 1-3 dice get 6. Gambler recovers his bet and gains the same amount as 6s
obtained on dice. (𝑥 = 1, 2, 3)
Hence, we know variable’s range:
𝑅𝑋 = {−1,1,2,3}
Now, we must get all probabilities:
5 3 125
 𝑃(𝑥 = −1) = 𝑃(𝐴1𝐶 ∩ 𝐴𝐶2 ∩ 𝐴𝐶3 ) = (6) = 216
 𝑃(𝑥 = 1) = 𝑃((𝐴1 ∩ 𝐴𝐶2 ∩ 𝐴𝐶3 ) ∪ (𝐴1𝐶 ∩ 𝐴2 ∩ 𝐴𝐶3 ) ∪ (𝐴1𝐶 ∩ 𝐴𝐶2 ∩ 𝐴3 ))

1 5 2 75
𝑃(𝑥 = 1) = 3 (6) (6) = 216

 𝑃(𝑥 = 2) = 𝑃((𝐴1 ∩ 𝐴2 ∩ 𝐴𝐶3 ) ∪ (𝐴1 ∩ 𝐴𝐶2 ∩ 𝐴3 ) ∪ (𝐴1𝐶 ∩ 𝐴2 ∩ 𝐴3 ))

5 1 2 15
𝑃(𝑥 = 2) = 3 (6) (6) = 216

1 3 1
 𝑃(𝑥 = 3) = 𝑃(𝐴1 ∩ 𝐴2 ∩ 𝐴3 ) = (6) = 216
National University of Engineering
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Academic Department of Basic Sciences

Given all information, we can build the table:

x -1 1 2 3
125 75 15 1
P(X = x)
216 216 216 216

Finally, we obtain the expected gain:


𝐸(𝑋) = ∑ 𝑥 𝑃(𝑋 = 𝑥)
125 75 15 1
𝐸(𝑋) = −1 (216) + 1 (216) + 2 (216) + 3 (216)
17
𝐸(𝑋) = − 216

Answer: A loss of $0.08 is expected.

2. The number of male mates of a queen bee was found to have a Poisson
distribution with parameter λ = 2.7.

a) Develop a table of probabilities for the random variable, X. Compute the


probabilities until they are zero to 4 decimal places. (Use Excel)
b) Draw a histogram of the probabilities in part (a). (Use Excel)

Solution:
𝑒 −𝜆 𝜆𝑥
a) Using Poisson’s formula: 𝑃(𝑋 = 𝑥) = , we generate the table.
𝑥!

x P(x)
0 0.0672
1 0.1815
2 0.2450
3 0.2205
4 0.1488
5 0.0804
6 0.0362
7 0.0139
8 0.0047
9 0.0014
10 0.0004
11 0.0001
12 0.0000
National University of Engineering
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Academic Department of Basic Sciences

b) The histogram can be obtained from the table.

Poisson distribution
0.3000

0.2500

0.2000
P(X=x)

0.1500

0.1000

0.0500

0.0000
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
x

3. A survey found that the traffic flowing through an intersection with an average
of 3 cars per 30 seconds. Assume the traffic flow can be modeled as a Poisson
distribution.

a) Find the minimum number of cars through the intersection so that the
probability of this number or fewer cars in 30 seconds is at least 90%.
b) If the variance of the number of cars through the intersection per minute is
20, is the Poisson distribution appropriate?

Solution:
a) For t = 30s we find λ = 3.

We are asked for a number of cars 𝑥0 , which can be obtained from the
expression:
𝑃(𝑋 ≤ 𝑥0 ) ≥ 0.9

Using a Poisson table, we find the first cumulative probability that surpasses
0.9 given λ = 3. This is first achieved on 0.9161, and so we get 𝑥0 = 5.
National University of Engineering
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Academic Department of Basic Sciences

Answer: The minimum number of cars that meets the requirements is 5.

b) It is more convenient to change parameter’s value so we get same time units.


For t = 60s, we now find λ = 6.
We know that, for a Poisson distribution, variance is equal to parameter.
Then
𝑉(𝑋) = 𝜆

𝑉(𝑋) = 6

In the condition, we find 𝑉(𝑋) = 20, which is not even near to the Poisson
value. Therefore, a Poisson distribution cannot be assumed.

Answer: Poisson distribution is not appropriate for this problem.

4. Determine which of the following random experiments depicts a binomial


experiment. If the random experiment is not a binomial experiment, indicate
why. [Hint: Review the characteristics of a binomial experiment.]

a) A new drug for seasickness is taken by 50 randomly chosen individuals, with


the number of individuals responding favorably recorded.
b) A random sample of 100 registered democrats is chosen and the respondents
are asked if they favor gun control.
c) Three cards are randomly selected from a deck of 52 playing cards with
replacement. The number of kings chosen is recorded.
d) A random sample of 20 vehicles is taken from a state motor pool parking lot
and the mileage is noted.
e) A field-goal kicker has a 20% chance of making a successful kick from 50
yards away. He is asked to keep kicking from that distance until he makes
his first field goal.
National University of Engineering
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Academic Department of Basic Sciences

Solution:
We remember a binomial experiment must satisfy four conditions:
 The number of trials is fixed.
 Trials must have only two outcomes: success or failure.
 Each trial is independent from all others.
 Success probability is the same for all trials.

We analyze each condition for the experiments:


a) There are 50 trials to be performed on patients, hence, this number is fixed.
We do have two opposite outcomes: favorable and unfavorable.
One patient’s result doesn’t modify any of the others. Trials are independent.
Probability is constant across trials.

a) is a binomial experiment.

b) This is not a random experiment, since a specific political organization is


chosen and its ideas are mostly related. In addition, one’s opinion may affect
someone else’s, e.g., leader’s opinion.

b) is not a binomial experiment.

c) We have a fixed number of trials, which is 3.


We have success: getting a king, and failure.
Since this is a finite experiment with replacement, each trial is independent.
Success probability is the same for all trials: 1 / 13.

c) is a binomial experiment.

d) We have a fixed number of trials, 20, but mileage cannot be developed as


two opposite outcomes. We instead have a range of infinite continuous
results.

d) is not a binomial experiment.

e) We have a constant and independent probability, but the number of trials


cannot be determined firsthand, it depends on each trial’s results.

e) is not a binomial experiment.

Answer: Only a) and c) are binomial experiments.


National University of Engineering
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Academic Department of Basic Sciences

5. Prove the following theorem:


For a continuous random variable 𝑋, 𝑋 ~ 𝐸𝑋𝑃(𝜃) if and only if
𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎 + 𝑡/𝑋 > 𝑎] = 𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑡]
for all 𝑎 > 0 and 𝑡 > 0

Solution:
We develop left’s expression.
𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎 + 𝑡 ∧ 𝑋 > 𝑎] 𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎 + 𝑡]
𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎 + 𝑡/𝑋 > 𝑎] = =
𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎] 𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎]

For an exponential distribution, we know

𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑥] = 𝑒 −𝜆𝑥

Then

𝑒 −𝜆(𝑎+𝑡)
𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎 + 𝑡/𝑋 > 𝑎] =
𝑒 −𝜆𝑎

𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑎 + 𝑡/𝑋 > 𝑎] = 𝑒 −𝜆𝑡 = 𝑃[𝑋 > 𝑡]

We have demonstrated the theorem.

6. If 𝑄~𝑈(0,3), find the probability that the roots of the equation 𝑔(𝑡) = 0 are
real. Where 𝑔(𝑡) = 4𝑡 2 + 4𝑄𝑡 + 𝑄 + 2

Solution:
We first get the probability density function of the random variable 𝑄
1
; 0≤𝑥≤3
𝑓(𝑥) = {3
0; 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑖𝑠𝑒
since it is a uniform distribution.

Now, we must find the values that make the equation roots real.
National University of Engineering
Faculty of Civil Engineering
Academic Department of Basic Sciences

∆𝑔(𝑡) ≥ 0

(4𝑄)2 − 4(4)(𝑄 + 2) ≥ 0

𝑄2 − 𝑄 − 2 ≥ 0

(𝑄 − 2)(𝑄 + 1) ≥ 0

𝑄 ∈< −∞; −1] ∪ [2; +∞ >

We can get the probability for the event

𝐴 = roots are real

Namely:
−1 ∞ −1 3 ∞
1
𝑃(𝐴) = ∫ 𝑓(𝑥) 𝑑𝑥 + ∫ 𝑓(𝑥) 𝑑𝑥 = ∫ 0 𝑑𝑥 + ∫ 𝑑𝑥 + ∫ 0 𝑑𝑥
−∞ 2 −∞ 2 3 3

3
1 𝑥3
𝑃(𝐴) = ∫ 𝑑𝑥 = [ ]
2 3 32

2 1
𝑃(𝐴) = 1 − =
3 3
1
Answer: 3 is the probability for roots being real.