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5-1

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Lecture Slides

Elementary Statistics

Twelfth Edition

and the Triola Statistics Series

by Mario F. Triola

Section 5.5-2

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter 5

Probability Distributions

5-1 Review and Preview

5-2 Probability Distributions

5-3 Binomial Probability Distributions

5-4 Parameters for Binomial Distributions

5-5 Poisson Probability Distributions

Section 5.5-3

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Key Concept

The Poisson distribution is another

discrete probability distribution which is

important because it is often used for

describing the behavior of rare events

(with small probabilities).

Section 5.5-4

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Poisson Distribution

The Poisson distribution is a discrete probability

distribution that applies to occurrences of some

event over a specified interval. The random

variable x is the number of occurrences of the event

in an interval. The interval can be time, distance,

area, volume, or some similar unit.

Formula

( )

!

where 2.71828

mean number of occurrences of the event over the interval

x

e

P x

x

e

=

~

=

Section 5.5-5

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Requirements of the

Poisson Distribution

The random variable x is the number of occurrences

of an event over some interval.

The occurrences must be random.

The occurrences must be independent of each other.

The occurrences must be uniformly distributed over

the interval being used.

Parameters

The mean is .

The standard deviation is

. o =

Section 5.5-6

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Differences from a

Binomial Distribution

The Poisson distribution differs from the binomial

distribution in these fundamental ways:

The binomial distribution is affected by the

sample size n and the probability p, whereas

the Poisson distribution is affected only by

the mean .

In a binomial distribution the possible values

of the random variable x are 0, 1, . . ., n, but

a Poisson distribution has possible x values

of 0, 1, 2, . . . , with no upper limit.

Section 5.5-7

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Example

For a recent period of 100 years, there were 530

Atlantic hurricanes. Assume the Poisson

distribution is a suitable model.

a. Find , the mean number of hurricanes per

year.

b. If P(x) is the probability of x hurricanes in a

randomly selected year, find P(2).

Section 5.5-8

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Example

a. Find , the mean number of hurricanes per

year.

b. If P(x) is the probability of x hurricanes in a

randomly selected year, find P(2).

number of hurricanes 530

5.3

number of years 100

= = =

( )

( )

5.3

2

5.3 2.71828

2 0.0701

! 2!

x

e

P

x

= = =

Section 5.5-9

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Poisson as an Approximation

to the Binomial Distribution

Rule of Thumb to Use the Poisson to Approximate the

Binomial

The Poisson distribution is sometimes used to

approximate the binomial distribution when n is

large and p is small.

100 n >

10 np s

Section 5.5-10

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Poisson as an Approximation

to the Binomial Distribution -

Value for

If both of the following requirements are met,

then use the following formula to calculate ,

100 n >

10 np s

n p =

Section 5.5-11

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Example

In the Maine Pick 4 game, you pay $0.50 to select a

sequence of four digits, such as 2449.

If you play the game once every day, find the probability

of winning at least once in a year with 365 days.

The chance of winning is

Then, we need :

1

365 0.0365

10, 000

np = = =

1

10, 000

p =

Section 5.5-12

Copyright 2014, 2012, 2010 Pearson Education, Inc.

Example - continued

Because we want the probability of winning at least

once, we will first find P(0).

There is a 0.9642 probability of no wins, so the

probability of at least one win is:

( )

( )

0.0365

0

0.0365 2.71828

0 0.9642

0!

P

= =

1 0.9642 0.0358 =

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