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You are on page 1of 5

where you learn math by playing with it!

2. Each trial results in an outcome that may be classified as a success or a failure binomial distribution

(hence the name, binomial);

3. The probability of a success, denoted by p, remains constant from trial to trial and

repeated trials are independent.

The number of successes X in n trials of a binomial experiment is called a binomial random variable.

The probability distribution of the random variable X is called a binomial distribution, and is given by the

formula:

P(X) = C nx p xq n−x

where

x = 0, 1, 2, ... n

(i.e. q = 1 − p)

C nx is a combination

p is the probability of success and q is the probability of failure in a binomial trial, then the expected number of

successes in n trials (i.e. the mean value of the binomial distribution) is

E(X) = µ = np

V(X) = σ 2 = npq

Note: In a binomial distribution, only 2 parameters, namely n and p, are needed to determine the probability.

EXAMPLE 1

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12. The Binomial Probability Distribution http://www.intmath.com/counting-probability/12-binomial-probability-d...

(b) 1 five?

(c) 3 fives?

Image source

Answer

This is a binomial distribution because there are only 2 possible outcomes (we get a 5 or we don't).

(a) Here, x = 0.

(b) Here, x = 1.

(c) Here, x = 3.

EXAMPLE 2

Hospital records show that of patients suffering from a certain disease, 75% die of it. What is the probability that

of 6 randomly selected patients, 4 will recover?

Answer

EXAMPLE 3

In the old days, there was a probability of 0.8 of success in any attempt to make a telephone

call. (This often depended on the imortance of the person making the call, or the operator's

curiosity!)

Answer

Image source

2 of 5 13-Apr-11 9:17 PM

12. The Binomial Probability Distribution http://www.intmath.com/counting-probability/12-binomial-probability-d...

Histogram

we have:

EXAMPLE 4

A (blindfolded) marksman finds that on the average he hits the target 4 times out of 5. If he fires 4 shots, what is

the probability of

Answer

(a)

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12. The Binomial Probability Distribution http://www.intmath.com/counting-probability/12-binomial-probability-d...

EXAMPLE 5

What proportion of Singapore families with exactly 6 children will have at least 3 boys? (Ignore

the probability of multiple births.)

Interesting and disturbing trivia: In most countries the ratio of boys to girls is about 1.04:1,

but in China it is 1.15:1.]

Answer

Image source

EXAMPLE 6

A manufacturer of metal pistons finds that on the average, 12% of his pistons are rejected because they are

either oversize or undersize. What is the probability that a batch of 10 pistons will contain

Answer

(a)

No rejects

One reject

Two rejects

4 of 5 13-Apr-11 9:17 PM

12. The Binomial Probability Distribution http://www.intmath.com/counting-probability/12-binomial-probability-d...

(b) We could work out all the cases for X = 2, 3, 4, ..., 10, but it is much easier to proceed as follows:

Histogram

Using SNB , we can define the function and then use matrices to find

the values at 0, 1, 2, ... which gives us the histogram:

5 of 5 13-Apr-11 9:17 PM

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