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COUNTING TECHNIQUES

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EXAMPLE 1:
An electronics company is planning to
introduce a new camera phone. The company
commissions a marketing report for each new
product that predicts either the success or the failure
of the product. Of new products introduced by the
company, 60% have been successes. Furthermore,
70% of their successful products were predicted to
be successes, while 40% of failed products were
predicted to be successes. Find the probability that
this new camera phone will be successful if its
success has been predicted.
SOLUTION

Let S be the event that a randomly chosen product actually is a success.


We are told that p(S) = 0.6 and therefore p() = 0.4.
Let P be the event that a randomly chosen product is predicted to be
successful.
0.4. We are asked for p(P). We
We are told that p(S)= 0.7 and p()=
use Bayes' theorem
EXAMPLE 2

There are six runners in the 100-yard dash. How


many ways are there for three medals to be awarded if
ties are possible? (The runner or runners who nish
with the fastest time receive gold medals, the runner or
runners who nish with exactly one runner ahead
receive silver medals, and the runner or runners who
nish with exactly two runners ahead receive bronze
medals.)
SOLUTION
We can solve this problem by breaking it down into cases depending on the ties.
There are four basic cases.
(1) If there are unique gold and silver winners, then we can choose these winners
in 6 5 = 30 ways. Any remaining four runners can win the bronze medal.
There are 24 - 1 = 15 ways to choose these people, giving us 30 15 = 450
ways in all for this case.
(2) If there is a 2-way tie for first place, then there are C(6, 2) = 15 ways to
choose the gold medalists. Any remaining four runners can win the bronze
medal, so there are 24 - 1 = 15 ways to choose these people, giving us 15
15 = 225 ways in all for this case. (3)
(3) If there is a k-way tie for first with k 2: 3, then there are C(6,k) ways to choose
the gold medalists (there are no other medals in this case). This gives us C(6,
3) + C(6, 4) + C(6, 5) + C(6, 6) = 20 + 15 + 6 + 1 = 42 more possibilities.
(4) (4) The only other case is that there is a single gold medal winner and a k-way
tie for second with k 2: 2. We can choose the winner in 6 ways and the silver
medalists in 25 - C(5, 1) - C(5, 0) = 32 - 5 - 1 = 26 ways. This gives us 6 26 =
156 possibilities. Putting this all together, the answer is 450 + 225 + 42 +
156 = 873.
EXAMPLE 3:

A group of six people play the game of odd


person out to determine who will buy refreshments.
Each person ips a fair coin. If there is a person
whose outcome is not the same as that of any other
member of the group, this person has to buy the
refreshments. What is the probability that there is an
odd person out after the coins are ipped once?
SOLUTION
We can model this problem using the binomial distribution.
We have here n = 6 Bernoulli trials (the six coins being flipped), with
1
p = (the probability of heads, which we will arbitrarily call success).
2
There are two ways in which there could be an odd person out.
1. there could be five heads and one tail.
2. there could be one head and five tails.

Thus we want to know the probability that the number of successes is


either k = 5 or k = 1 . According to the formula developed in this section
EXAMPLE 4:

A pair of dice is loaded. The probability that a 4


appears on the rst die is 2/7, and the probability
that a 3 appears on the second die is 2/7. Other
outcomes for each die appear with probability 1/7.
What is the probability of 7 appearing as the sum of
the numbers when the two dice are rolled?
SOLUTION:
EXPECTED VALUE: EXAMPLE 1

Suppose that we roll a pair of fair dice until the


sum of the numbers on the dice is seven. What is the
expected number of times we roll the dice?
SOLUTION

The random variable that counts the number of rolls


has a geometric distribution with p = 1/6, since the
probability of getting a sum of 7 when a pair of dice
is rolled is 1/6. According to the theorem, expected
value is 1/(1/6) = 6.
EXPECTED VALUE:EXAMPLE 2:

A lot of 12 television sets includes 2 with white


cords. If three of the sets are chosen at random for
shipment to a hotel, how many sets with white cords
can the shipper expect to send to the hotel?
SOLUTION
Since x of the two sets with white cords and 3-x of the 10 other sets can be chosen
in 2 3
10
ways, three of the 12 sets can be chosen in 12 3
ways, and these 12 3
possibilities are presumably equiprobable, we find that the probability distribution
of X, the number of sets with white cords shipped to the hotel, is given by

f(x) =
for x= 0, 1, 2

In tabular form:

Now we have,

*1/2 -- an average pertaining to repeated shipments made under


the given conditions
EXPECTED VALUE: EXAMPLE 3

A saleswoman has been offered a new job


with a fixed salary of $290. Her records from her
present job show that her weekly commissions have
the following probabilities:

Should she change jobs?


SOLUTION
The expected value (expected income) from her present job is:

(0 x $0.05) + (0.15 x $100) + (0.25 x $200) + (0.45 x $300) + (0.1 x $400) = $240

If she is making a decision only on the amount of money earned,


then clearly she ought to change jobs.