You are on page 1of 19

# Hypergeometric Probability

Distribution

Learning Objectives
Determine whether a probability

## experiment is a hypergeometric experiment

Compute the probabilities of
hypergeometric experiments
Compute the mean and the
variance/standard deviation of a
hypergeometric random variable

## Recall: Binomial Probability

The binomial probability distribution can be used to

## compute the probabilities of experiments when there

are a fixed number of trials in which there are two
mutually exclusive outcomes and the probability of
success for any trial is constant.

## What if the requirement of

independence is not satisfied?

## A probability experiment is said to be a

hypergeometric experiment provided:
1. The finite population to be sampled has N
elements.
2. For each trial of the experiment, there are two
possible outcomes, success or failure. There are
exactly k successes in the population.
3. A sample of size n is obtained from the
population of size N without replacement.

Notations Used
Distribution

in

the

Hypergeometric

Probability

## The population is size N. The sample is size

n.
There are k successes in the population.
Let the random variable X denote the
number of successes in the sample of size n,
so x must be greater than or equal to the
larger of 0 or n (N k), and x must be less
than or equal to the smaller of n or k.

Example 1:
A Hypergeometric Probability Experiment

Problem:
Suppose that a researcher goes to a small college
with 200 faculty, 12 of which have blood type Onegative. She obtains a simple random sample of
n = 20 of the faculty and finds that 3 of the
faculty have blood type O-negative. Is this
experiment
a
hypergeometric
probability
experiment? List the possible values of the
random variable X, the number of faculty that
have blood type O-negative.

Example 1:
A Hypergeometric Probability Experiment

Approach:

## We need to determine if the three criteria

for a hypergeometric experiment have been
satisfied.

Example 1:
A Hypergeometric Probability Experiment

Solution:
This is a hypergeometric probability experiment because
1. The population consists of N = 200 faculty.
2. Two outcomes are possible: the faculty member has blood
type O-negative or the faculty member does not have blood
type O-negative. The researcher obtained k = 3 successes.
3. The sample size n = 20.
The possible values of the random variable are x = 0, 1, , 12.
The largest value of X is 12, because we cannot have more than
12 successes since there are only 12 faculty with blood type Onegative in the population.

## Notice that we cannot use the binomial

probability distribution to determine the
likelihood of obtaining three successes in 20
trials in Example 1 because the sample size is
large relative to the population size.
That is, n = 20 is more than 5% of the
population size, N = 200.

## The basis for computing probabilities in a

hypergeometric experiment lies in the fact that each
sample of size n is equally likely to be chosen.
Consider an urn that contains 8 white chips and 6
black chips for a total of N = 14 chips. If we decide to
randomly select n = 3, all possible combinations of
chips are equally likely.

## That is, if we let W1,W2, , W8 represent the 8 white

chips and B1, B2, , B6 represent the 6 black chips,
selecting W1,W2, B3 is just as likely as selecting
W3,W6, B4.
Notice in both cases that we selected 2 white chips and
1 black chip. So, if X represents the number of black
chips selected, we have x = 1 in both cases; however,
the chips selected are different (so each represents a
different sample).

## The probability of obtaining x successes based on a

random sample of size n from a population of size N is
given by

## where k is the number of successes in the population.

Example 2
Using the Hypergeometric Probability Distribution

Problem:
Suppose that a researcher goes to a small college
with 200 faculty, 12 of which have blood type Onegative. She obtains a simple random sample of n
= 20 of the faculty. Let the random variable X
represent the number of faculty in the sample size
of n = 20 that have blood type O-negative.
a) What is the probability that 3 of the faculty have
blood type O-negative?
b) What is the probability that at least one of the
faculty has blood type O-negative?

Example 2
Using the Hypergeometric Probability Distribution

Approach:

## This is a hypergeometric experiment with N

= 200, n = 20, and k = 12. The possible
values of the random variable X are x = 0, 1,
2, , 12.

Example 2
Using the Hypergeometric Probability Distribution

Solution:
a) We are looking for the probability of obtaining 3
successes, x = 3.

Example 2
Using the Hypergeometric Probability Distribution

Solution:
b) Since ,

Try this!
Suppose that a machine shop orders 500 bolts from a
supplier. To determine whether to accept the shipment of
bolts, the manager of the facility randomly selects 12 bolts.
If none of the 12 randomly selected bolts is found to be
defective, he concludes that the shipment is acceptable.
a) If 10% of the bolts in the population are defective,
what is the probability that none of the selected bolts
are defective?
b) If 20% of the bolts in the population are defective,
what is the probability that none of the selected bolts
are defective?

Random Variable

## A hypergeometric random variable X has mean and

standard deviation given by the formulas

## where n is the sample size

k is the number of successes in the population
N is the size of the population

## Computing the Mean and Standard Deviation

of a Hypergeometric Random Variable