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Discrete Probability Distribution

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binomial distribution when n is large and p

is small.

• It is the case when n is large and p is small

the mass function depends almost entirely

on the mean np, and very little on the

specific values of n and p.

• We can therefore approximate the

binomial mass function with a quantity λ =

np. (note: λ is the parameter in the Poisson

distribution).

• Poisson distribution is useful when n is

large and p is small and when the

independent variables occur over a period

of time.

• It can also be used when a density of

items is distributed over a given area or

volume.

If X ~ Poisson(λ), the probability mass function

of X is

e x

p x P X x x!

, for x 0 ,1 ,2 ,...

0 , otherwise

mean X

variance

X2

must be a positive constant.

If X ~ Poisson(3), compute P(X=2),

P(X=10), P(X=0), P(X=0.5),

P(X=2)= 0.2240

P(X=10)= 0.0008

P(X=0) =0.0498

P(X=0.5) =0

If X ~ Poisson(4), compute P(X≤2),

P(X>1)

P(X≤2) =0.2381

P(X>1) = 1 - P(X≤1) = 0.9084

Particles are suspended in a liquid medium

at a concentration of 6 particles per mL.

A large volume of the suspension is

thoroughly agitated, and then 3 mL are

withdrawn. What is the probability that

exactly 15 particles are withdrawn?

P(X=15) =0.0786

Hypergeometric Distribution :

• Consider a finite population containing two

types of items, which may be called

successes and failures.

• A simple random sample is drawn from the

population.

• Each item sampled constitutes a Bernoulli

trial.

Hypergeometric Distribution :

• As each item is selected, the probability of

successes in the remaining population decreases

or increases, depending on whether the

sampled item was a success or a failure.

• For this reason the trials are not independent,

so the number of successes in the sample does

not follow a binomial distribution.

• The distribution that properly describes the

number of successes is the hypergeometric

distribution.

Hypergeometric Distribution :

• Assume a finite population contains N items, of

which R are classified as successes and N – R are

classified as failures.

• Assume that n items are sampled from this

population, and let X represent the number of

successes in the sample. Then X has a

hypergeometric distribution with parameters N,

R, and n, which can be denoted

X ~ H(N, R, n).

The probability mass function of X is

Hypergeometric Distribution :

The probability mass function of X is

R N R

x n x , if max 0 , R n N x min n , R

p x P X x N

n

0, otherwise

Mean nR

X

N

Variance R R N n

X n 1

2

N N N 1

Of 50 buildings in an industrial park, 12

have electrical code violations. If 10

buildings are selected at random for

inspection, what is the probability that

exactly 3 of the 10 have code

violations? What is the mean and

variance of X?

X ~ H(50, 12, 10), x=3

P(X=3) =0.2703

Mean = 2.4

Variance = 1.4890

Geometric Distribution:

• Assume that a sequence of independent Bernoulli

trials is conducted, each with the same

probability of success, p.

including the first success.

said to have the geometric distribution with

parameter p written as follows:

X ~ Geom(p).

Geometric Distribution :

The probability mass function of X is

p1 p x 1 , x 1 ,2 ,...

p x P X x

0 , otherwise

Mean 1

X

p

Variance

1 p

X 2

p2

A test of weld strength involves loading

welded joints until a fracture occurs. For a

certain type of weld, 80% of the fractures

occur in the weld itself, while the other 20%

occur in the beam. A number of welds are

tested. Let X be the number of tests up to

and including the first test that results in a

beam fracture.

1. What is the distribution of X?

2. What is the mean and variance of X?

3. What is the P(X = 3)?

Negative Binomial Distribution::

• The negative binomial distribution is an extension

of the geometric distribution. Let r be a positive

integer. Assume that independent Bernoulli

trials, each with success probability p, are

conducted, and let X denote the number of trials

up to and including the rth success. Then X has

the negative binomial distribution with

parameters r and p. We write X ~ NB(r,p).

Y1,…,Yn are independent random variables, each

with Geom(p) distribution.

Negative Binomial Distribution :

If X~NB(r,p) , then the pmf of X is

x 1 r

, p 1 p x r , x r , r 1 ,...

p x P X x r 1

0, otherwise

r

Mean X

p

Variance

r 1 p

X 2

p2

A test of weld strength involves loading

welded joints until a fracture occurs. For a

certain type of weld, 80% of the fractures

occur in the weld itself, while the other 20%

occur in the beam. A number of welds are

tested. Find the mean and variance of X,

where X represents the number of tests up

to and including the third beam fracture.

Find P(X=8)

Multinomial Trials:

• A Bernoulli trial is a process that results in one

of two possible outcomes. A generalization of

the Bernoulli trial is the multinomial trial, which

is a process that can result in any of k outcomes,

where k ≥ 2.

• We denote the probabilities of the k outcomes

by p1,…,pk.

Multinomial Trials:

• Now assume that n independent multinomial trials

are conducted each with k possible outcomes and

with the same probabilities p1,…,pk.

• Number the outcomes 1, 2, …, k. For each

outcome i, let Xi denote the number of trials that

result in that outcome.

• Then X1,…,Xk are discrete random variables.

• The collection X1,…,Xk said to have the

multinomial distribution with parameters n,

p1,…,pk. We write X1,…,Xk ~ MN(n, p1,…,pk).

Multinomial Trials:

If X1,…,Xk ~ MN(n, p1,…,pk), then the pmf of

X1,…,Xk is

x

n!

, p1 x1 * p2 x 2 L pk xk , x 0 ,1 ,2...k and n

p x P X x x 1 ! x 2 ! Lx k !

i

0, otherwise

each i, Xi ~ Bin(n, pi).

The items produced on an assembly line are

inspected, and each is classified as either

conforming (acceptable), downgraded, or rejected.

Overall, 70% of the items are conforming, 20% are

downgraded, and 10% are rejected. Assume that

four items are chosen independently and at random.

Let X1, X2, X3 denote the numbers among the 4 that

are conforming, downgraded, and rejected,

respectively.

a) What is the distribution of X1, X2, X3?

b) What is the probability that 3 are conforming and

1 is rejected in a given sample?

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