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MODULE 6: PROBABILITY
DISTRIBUTIONS

INTRODUCTION

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Random Variable: It is a variable which takes specified values with


specified probabilities.
In other words, it is a real number connected with the outcome of a
random experiment.
It can be of two types: Discrete and Continuous.
Probability Distribution: Listing of all the possible outcomes of a
random variable with each outcomes associated probability of
occurrence is called probability distribution.

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Probability Distribution

Discrete

Binomial

Poisson

Continuous

Normal

BINOMIAL DISTRIBUTION

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It is a widely used probability distribution for a discrete random


variable.
The distribution is also known as the outcome of a Bernoulli process
and is associated with the name of Jacob Bernoulli.
A process in which each trial has only two possible outcomes, the
probability of the outcome at any trial remain fixed over time, and
the trials are statistically independent

CONDITIONS FOR
BINOMIAL EXPERIMENT

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1.

The random experiment is performed under the same conditions


for a fixed and finite number of trials, say n.

2.

Each trial is independent of other trials, i.e., the probability of an


outcome for any particular trial is not influenced by the outcomes
of the other trials.

3.

Each trial has two mutually exclusive possible outcomes. The


outcomes are usually called success and failure.

4.

The probability of success ,p, remains constant from trial to trial


(so is the probability of failure q, where q=1-p) .
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BINOMIAL PROBABILITY
FUNCTION

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For a binomial random variable, probability of obtaining exactly xsuccesses in a given number of n Bernoulli trials is given by

P x nC x p x q n x

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

where,
p probabilit y of a success on a sin gle Bernoulli trial .
n number of Bernoulli trials.
x number of success in ' n' trials.

BINOMIAL DISTRIBUTION

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The mean of binomial random variable X, is given as:-Mean= np

The variance of the binomial random variable X measures the


variation of the binomial distribution and is given by:-V(X)= npq

POISSON DISTRIBUTION

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The distribution is named after the French mathematician Simeon


Poisson.
The Poisson distribution occurs when there are events which do not
occur as outcomes of a definite number of trials of an experiment,
but which occur at random points of time and space, where our
interests lies only in the number of occurrences of the events and not
in its non-occurrences.
The number X of outcomes occurring during a poisson experiment
is called as a poisson random variable, and the distribution that it
follows is termed as the Poisson distribution.

CHARACTERSTICS/ PROPERTIES

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A Poisson experiment is derived from the Poisson process which has


the following properties/characteristics:-1. The number of outcomes occurring in one interval is independent of
the number that occurs in same or any other disjoint time interval.
2. An infinite number of occurrences of the event must be possible in
the interval.
3. In any extremely short portion of interval, probability of two or
more occurrences of the event is negligible.
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DIFFERENCE

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Poisson distribution differs from the Binomial distribution in two


important aspects:-1. Rather than consisting of fixed number of trials, the distribution
operates continuously over some given amount of time, distance,
area etc.
2. Rather than producing a sequence of successes & failures, the
distribution only focuses on successes, which are known as the
occurrences.

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POISSON DISTRIBUTION

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A random variable X is said to follow a Poisson distribution if it


assumes only non-negative values, and is given by:--

e x
P( X )
x

where x 0,1,2,..., n.

The Poisson distribution is a limiting form of Binomial distribution


when p is the constant probability of success for each trial is very
small and n the number of trials is indefinitely large, such that
np=
Mean of Poisson distribution=Variance=

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NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

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It is the most important continuous distribution, and was discovered


by De Moivre.
The normal distribution is also known as the Gaussian Distribution.
Normal distribution is a limiting case of binomial distribution.
When n is very large and neither p nor q is very small, binomial
distribution tends to normal distribution.
Binomial distribution tends to the form of the continuous curve
when n becomes large.
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NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

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Probability function of the Normal distribution is given as:-

P( X )

1
e
2

1 X

where,
X is a random var iable which follows Normal distribution with
mean and S .D. ; X ~ N ( , )

Cons tan t 3.1416


e Cons tan t 2.7183
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PROPERTIES OF NORMAL CURVE

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1.

The curve is bell-shaped and symmetrical about mean.

2.

The mean, median and mode of the normal distribution coincide.

3.

The total area under the curve and above the horizontal axis is
equal to unity.

4.

Area under the curve on the left of the mean is equal to the area
under curve to the right of the mean.

5.

The normal distribution is symmetrical and Mesokurtic, i.e., 1=0


and 2=3.

6.

Normal distribution is unimodal.


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STANDARD NORMAL VARIATE

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A random variable with any mean and S.D. can be transformed to a


standardized normal variable by subtracting the mean and dividing
by S.D.
For a normal distribution with mean and S.D. , the standardized
variable z is given as:--

X
z

The standardized variable z is called a standard normal variate,


which follows Normal distribution with mean 0 and S.D. 1, i.e.,
z ~ N(0, 1)
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