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# Continuous Random

Variables

Continuous Random
Variable
A

## continuous random variable is one

for which the outcome can be any value
in an interval of the real number line.
Usually a measurement.
Examples
Let Y = length in mm
Let Y = time in seconds
Let Y = temperature in C
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 2

Continuous Random
Variable
We

## dont calculate P(Y = y), we

calculate P(a < Y < b), where a and b
are real numbers.

For

P(Y = y) = 0.

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 3

Continuous Random
Variables
The probability density function (pdf)
when plotted against the possible values
of Y forms a curve. The area under an
interval of the curve is equal to the
probability that Y is in that interval.

0.40

f(y)

b Y

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 4

## The entire area under a

probability density curve for a
continuous random variable
A.
B.
C.
D.

## Is always greater than 1.

Is always less than 1.
Is always equal to 1.
Is undeterminable.
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 5

(pdf)
1)
2)

f ( y )dy 1

3)

## If y0 is a specific value of interest, then

the cumulative distribution function (cdf)
is
y
F ( y0 ) P (Y y0 )

f ( y)dy

4)

## If y1 and y2 are specific values of interest,

y
then P( y Y y ) f ( y )dy F ( y ) F ( y )
2

y1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 6

## Grams of lead per liter of

gasoline has the probability
density function: f(y) = 12.5y 1.25
for 0.1 < y < 0.5
What is the probability that the
next liter of gasoline has less
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 7

## Suppose a random variable Y

has the following probability
density function: f(y) = y
if
0<y<1
2-y if 1 < y<2
0
if 2 < y.
Find the complete form of the
cumulative distribution function
F(y) for any real value y.
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 8

## Expected Value for a

Continuous Random Variable

random variable:

E (Y ) y p ( y )

## Expected value for a continuous random

variable:

E (Y )

yf
(
y
)
dy

Department of Statistics
L.Wang,
University of South Carolina; Slide 9

## Variance for Continuous

Random Variable
Recall: Variance for a discrete random
variable:

Var (Y ) ( y ) p( y )
2

## Variance for a continuous random

variable:

Var (Y ) ( y ) f ( y )dy
2

## Difference between Discrete

and continuous random
variables
Possible values that can be
assumed
Probability distribution function
Cumulative distribution function
Expected value
Variance
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 11

Accidents
The

## times between accidents for a

10-year period at a DuPont facility
can be modeled by the exponential
distribution.

f ( y ) e

y 0 and 0

## where is the accident rate (the

expected number of accidents per day
in this case)
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 12

accidents

accidents.
Time
12 days

Accident
#1 #2

35 days

Accident
#3

5 days

Accident

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 13

Accidents

Suppose

## in a 1000 day period there

were 50 accidents.

day

or

## 1/ = 1000/50 = 20 days between

accidents
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 14

## What is the probability that this

facility will go less than 10 days
between the next two accidents?

f(y) = 0.05e-0.05y

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 15

10

## P (Y 10) F (10) 0.05e 0.05 y dy

0

Recall:

e du e
u

F (10) e

0.05 y 10
0

| 0.39
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 16

In General
y

P (Y y ) e dt
t

P (Y y ) F ( y ) e

t y
0

| 1 e

P (Y y ) 1 F ( y ) e

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 17

Exponential Distribution

1 e

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 18

## If the time to failure for an electrical

component follows an exponential
distribution with a mean time to failure
of 1000 hours, what is the probability
that a randomly chosen component
will fail before 750 hours?
Hint: is the failure
rate (expected number
of failures per hour).
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 19

## Mean and Variance for an

Exponential Random Variable

E (Y ) ye

Var (Y ) y e
2

1
dy

1
dy

1
2

## Note: Mean = Standard

L. Wang, Department of Statistics
Deviation

## The time between accidents at a

factory follows an exponential
distribution with a historical
average of 1 accident every 900
days. What is the probability that
that there will be more than 1200
days between the next two
accidents?

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 21

## If the time between accidents

follows an exponential distribution
with a mean of 900 days, what is
the probability that there will be
less than 900 days between the
next two accidents?

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 22

Relationship between
Exponential & Poisson
Distributions
Recall

## that the Poisson distribution is

used to compute the probability of a
specific number of events occurring
in a particular interval of time or
space.
Instead of the number of events
being the random variable, consider
the time or space between events as
the random variable.
L. Wang, Department of Statistics

## University of South Carolina; Slide 23

Relationship between
Exponential & Poisson
Exponential distribution models time
(or space) between Poisson events.

TIME
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 24

Exponential or Poisson
Distribution?

## We model the number of industrial

accidents occurring in one year.

## We model the length of time between two

industrial accidents (assuming an accident
occurring is a Poisson event).

## We model the time between radioactive

particles passing by a counter (assuming a
particle passing by is a Poisson event).

## We model the number of radioactive

particles passing by a counter in one hour

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 25

Distribution

( t ) y e t
P(Y y ) p ( y )
y!

y = 0,1,2,

## where is the mean number of events per

base unit of time or space and t is the
number of base units inspected.
The probability that no events occur in a
span of time (or space) is:

( t ) y e t ( t ) 0 e t
t
p ( 0)

e
y!
0!
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 26

## Now let T = the time (or space)

until the next Poisson event.

P(T t ) e

## In other words, the probability that

the length of time (or space) until
the next event is greater than some
given time (or space), t, is the
same as the probability that no
events will occur in time (or space)
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
t.
University of South Carolina; Slide 27

The

## arrival of radioactive particles at a

counter are Poisson events. So the
number of particles in an interval of
time follows a Poisson distribution.
Suppose we average 2 particles per
millisecond.
What is the probability that no particles
will pass the counter in the next 3
milliseconds?
What is the probability that more than
3 millisecond will elapse before the
next particle passes?L. Wang, Department of Statistics

## University of South Carolina; Slide 28

Machine Failures
If the number of machine failures in a
given interval of time follows a
Poisson distribution with an average of
1 failure per 1000 hours, what is the
probability that there will be no
failures during the next 2000 hours?
What is the probability that the time
until the next failure is more than
2000 hours?

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 29

Number

## of failures in an interval of time

follows a Poisson distribution. If the mean
time to failure is 1000 hours, what is the
probability that more than 2500 hours
will pass before the next failure occurs?

A. e-4
B. 1 e-4
C. e-2.5
D. 1 e-2.5
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 30

Challenging
questions

## If ten of these components are used in

different devices that run
independently, what is the probability
that at least one will still be operating
at 2500 hours?
What about he probability that exact 3
of them will be still operating after
2500 hours?
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 31

Normal Distribution

f(y)

f(y) =
E[Y] =

1
( y ) 2 / 2 2
e
, y
2
and

2
Var[Y]
=

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 32

Normal Distribution

Characteristics
Bell-shaped curve
- < y < +
determines distribution location
and is the highest point on curve
Curve has its points of inflection at
+
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 33

Normal Distribution

-4

-3

-2

-1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 34

Normal Distribution
N( = 5, = 1)

N( = 0, = 1)
f(y)

-4

-3

-2

-1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 35

Normal Distribution
N( = 0, = 0.5)
f(y)

N( = 0, = 1)

-4

-3

-2

-1

## y L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 36

Normal Distribution
N( = 5, = 0.5)
N( = 0, = 1)
f(y)

-4

-3

-2

-1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 37

68-95-99.7 Rule
0.997
0.95
0.68

-4

-3
-3

-2
-2

+ 1 covers
approximately 68%

-1
-1

1
2
+1
+2

+ 2 covers
approximately 95%

3
+3

+ 3 covers
approximately99.7%

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 38

Earthquakes in a California
Town

## Since 1900, the magnitude of

earthquakes that measure 0.1 or
higher on the Richter Scale in a
certain location in California is
distributed approximately normally,
with = 6.2 and = 0.5, according
to data obtained from the United
States Geological Survey.
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 39

## Earthquake Richter Scale

34%

34%

2.5%
13.5%
-4

-3

57

-2
5.2

-1
5.7

13.5%
0
6.2

1
6.7

68%

2
7.2

2.5%
3

159

95%
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 40

## Approximately what percent of the

earthquakes are above 5.7 on the Richter
Scale?

34%

34%

2.5%

2.5%
13.5%

-4

-3

-2
5.2

-1
5.7

13.5%
0
6.2

1
6.7

2
7.2

68%
95%
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 41

## The highest an earthquake can

read and still be in the lowest
2.5% is _.
34%

34%

2.5%
13.5%
-4

-3

-2
5.2

-1
5.7

13.5%
0
6.2

1
6.7

2
7.2

2.5%
3

68%
95%
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 42

## The approximate probability an

earthquake is above 6.7 is
______.
34%

34%

2.5%
13.5%
-4

-3

-2
5.2

-1
5.7

13.5%
0
6.2

1
6.7

2
7.2

2.5%
3

68%
95%
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 43

Standard

## normal distribution is the

normal distribution that has a mean
of 0 and standard deviation of 1.
N( = 0, =
1)

-4

-3

-2

-1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 44

## Z is Traditionally used as the

Symbol for a Standard Normal
Random Variable

-4

-3

4.7

-2

-1

5.2

5.7

6.2

6.7

7.2

7.7

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 45

## Normal Standard Normal

Any normally distributed random
variable can be converted to standard
normal using the following formula:

y
Z

## We can compare observations from two

different normal distributions by
converting the observations to standard
normal and comparing the
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
standardized observations.
University of South Carolina; Slide 46

## What is the standard normal

value (or Z value) for a
Recall Y ~ N(=6.2, =0.5)

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 47

Example

## Consider two towns in California. The

distributions of the Richter readings over 0.1
in the two towns are:
Town 1:
Town 2:

X ~ N( = 6.2, = 0.5)
Y ~ N( = 6.2, = 1).

## - What is the probability that Town 1 has an

earthquake over 7 (on the Richter scale)?
- What is the probability that Town 2 has an
earthquake over 7?
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 48

Town 1

Town 2

0.21
2

0.05
5
Z
X

-4

-3

4.7

-2

5.2

-1

5.7

6.2

6.7

7.2

7.7

Z
Y

-4

-3

-2

3.2 4.2

-1

5.2

6.2

7.2 8.2

9.2

7 6 .2
P ( X 7 .0 ) P Z
P ( Z 1.6) 0.055
Town 1:
0 .5

7 6.2
Town 2: P (Y 7.0) P Z 1.0 P ( Z 0.8) 0.212

Department of Statistics
L. Wang,

Standard Normal

0.10

0.10

0.05

0.05

0.025
0.01
0.005
-4

-3

0.025
0.01
0.005
-2

-1

-2.326 -1.645

1.645 2.326
1.282 1.96 2.576

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 50

The

## thickness of a certain steel bolt

that continuously feeds a
manufacturing process is normally
distributed with a mean of 10.0 mm
and standard deviation of 0.3 mm.
Manufacturing becomes concerned
about the process if the bolts get
thicker than 10.5 mm or thinner than
9.5 mm.
Find the probability that the thickness
of a randomly selected bolt is > 10.5
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
or < 9.5 mm.

## Sometimes we want to answer a question

which is the reverse situation. Here we
know the probability, and want to find the
corresponding value of Y.

Area=0.0
25

y=?

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 52

## Approximately 2.5% of the bolts produced

will have thicknesses less than ______.

0.02
5
Z
Y

-4

-3

-2

-1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 53

## Approximately 2.5% of the bolts produced

will have thicknesses less than ______.

Y 10.0
2
y 9.4
0.3
L. Wang, Department of Statistics
University of South Carolina; Slide 54

## Approximately 1% of the bolts produced

will have thicknesses less than ______.

0.01

Z
Y

-4

-3

-2

-1

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 55

## Approximately 1% of the bolts produced

will have thicknesses less than ______.

Y 10.0
2.326
y 9.3
0.3

## L. Wang, Department of Statistics

University of South Carolina; Slide 56