# binomial, Poison and normal probability distributions

RIGOBERT NGELEJA& FRANK VENANCE

The Binomial Probability Distribution
A binomial experiment is one that possesses the following properties: 1.The experiment consists of n repeated trials; 2.Each trial results in an outcome that may be classified as a success or a failure (hence the name, binomial); 3.The probability of a success, denoted by p, remains constant from trial to trial and repeated trials are independent.

. The probability distribution of the random variable X is called a binomial distribution.The number of successes X in n trials of a binomial experiment is called a binomial random variable. and is given by the formula P(X) = Cnxpxqn−x combinations) in which r objects can be selected from a set of n objects.

1.e. n p = the probability of success in a single trial q = the probability of failure in a single trial (i. 2.. .where n = the number of trials x = 0. q = 1 − p) Cnx is a combination P(X) gives the probability of successes in n binomial trials. ..

. the mean value of the binomial distribution) is E(X) = μ = np The variance of the binomial distribution is V(X) = σ2 = npq Note: In a binomial distribution. are needed to determine the probability. namely n and p.Mean and Variance of Binomial Distribution If p is the probability of success and q is the probability of failure in a binomial trial. only 2 parameters.e. then the expected number of successes in n trials (i.

(a) Here. Now. . n = 3 for each part.EXAMPLE 1 A die is tossed 3 times. What is the probability of (a) No fives turning up? (b) 1 five? (c) 3 fives? This is a binomial distribution because there are only 2 possible outcomes (we get a 5 or we don't). x = 0. Let X = number of fives appearing.

. x = 1. (c) Here.(b) Here. x = 3.

n = 6 and x = 4. Here.i. The probability that 4 will recover: . What is the probability that of 6 randomly selected patients. i. they die). Let p = 0. they live).e. Let X = number who recover.75 (failure.EXAMPLE 2 Hospital records show that of patients suffering from a certain disease.e.25 (success . 75% die of it. or does not). q = 0. 4 will recover? This is a binomial distribution because there are only 2 outcomes (the patient dies.

Normal Probability Distributions Properties of a Normal Distribution 1. It is completely determined by its mean and standard deviation σ (or variance σ2) . 3.The mean is at the middle and divides the area into halves.The total area under the curve is equal to 1.The normal curve is symmetrical about the mean μ. 2.

Note: In a normal distribution. namely μ and σ2. only 2 parameters are needed. then we have: . The Standard Normal Distribution It makes life a lot easier for us if we standardize our normal curve. If we have the standardized situation of μ = 0 and σ = 1. with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of 1 unit.

Standard Normal Curve μ = 0. σ = 1 .

we have the following equivalent probabilities: P(x1 < X < x2) = P(z1 < Z < z2) . then Since all the values of X falling between x1 and x2 have corresponding Z values between z1 and z2.If we have mean μ and standard deviation σ. Hence. it means: The area under the X curve between X = x1 and X = x2 equals: The area under the Z curve between Z = z1 and Z = z2.

13 .Calculating Normal Probabilities…  P(45 < X < 60) ? …mean of 50 minutes and a standard deviation of 10 minutes… 0 8.

.Percentages of the Area Under the Standard Normal Curve A graph of this standardized (mean 0 and variance 1) normal curve is shown.

27% -2 ≤ Z ≤ 2= 95.33. we have indicated the areas between the regions as follows: -1 ≤ Z ≤ 1= 68. .78 (d) between z = 0.73% EXAMPLE 1 Find the area under the standard normal curve for the following.45% -3 ≤ Z ≤ 3 =99.50 (e) to the right of z = -1.In this graph.78 (b) between z = -0. (a) between z = 0 and z = 0.56 and z = 0 (c) between z = -0.43 and z = 0. using the z-table or calculator.44 and z = 1.

The number of successes in two disjoint time intervals is independent. . The Poisson random variable satisfies the following conditions: 1. 2.The Poisson Probability Distribution The Poisson Distribution was developed by the French mathematician Simeon Denis Poisson in 1837.The probability of a success during a small time interval is proportional to the entire length of the time interval.

. 3. 1. 2.71828 (but use your calculator's e button) μ = mean number of successes in the given time interval or region of space . e = 2.The probability distribution of a Poisson random variable X representing the number of successes occurring in a given time interval or a specified region of space is given by the formula: where x = 0..

a.Find the probability that this expected number actually pass through in a given two-minute period. then the mean and the variance of the Poisson distribution are both equal to μ.Mean and Variance of Poisson Distribution If μ is the average number of successes occurring in a given time interval or region in the Poisson distribution. .Find the probability that none passes in a given minute. b.What is the expected number passing in two minutes? c. E(X) = μ and V(X) = σ2 = μ EXAMPLE 1 Vehicles pass through a junction on a busy road at an average rate of 300 per hour.

we have: .The average number of cars per minute is: (a) (b) Expected number each 2 minutes = E(X) = 5 × 2 = 10 (c) Now. with μ = 10.

♥ ♦ ♣ ♠ Hearts Diamonds Clubs Spades aces .