<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

On May 13, 2013, starting at 4:30 PM, the probability of low seismic activity for the next 48 hours in Alaska was reported as about 1.02%. Use this information for the next 200 days to find the probability that there will be low seismic activity in ten of the next 200 days. Use both the binomial and Poisson distributions to calculate the probabilities. Are they close?

Let X = the number of days with low seismic activity.

Using the binomial distribution:

  • P ( x = 10 ) = 200! 10! ( 200 - 10 ) ! × .0102 10 = 0.000039

Using the Poisson distribution:

  • Calculate μ = np = 200(0.0102) ≈ 2.04
  • P ( x = 10 ) = μ x e x! = 2.04 10 e -2.04 10! = 0.000045

We expect the approximation to be good because n is large (greater than 20) and p is small (less than 0.05). The results are close—both probabilities reported are almost 0.

Estimating the binomial distribution with the poisson distribution

We found before that the binomial distribution provided an approximation for the hypergeometric distribution. Now we find that the Poisson distribution can provide an approximation for the binomial. We say that the binomial distribution approaches the Poisson. The binomial distribution approaches the Poisson distribution is as n gets larger and p is small such that np becomes a constant value. There are several rules of thumb for when one can say they will use a Poisson to estimate a binomial. One suggests that np , the mean of the binomial, should be less than 25. Another author suggests that it should be less than 7. And another, noting that the mean and variance of the Poisson are both the same, suggests that np and npq , the mean and variance of the binomial, should be greater than 5. There is no one broadly accepted rule of thumb for when one can use the Poisson to estimate the binomial.

As we move through these probability distributions we are getting to more sophisticated distributions that, in a sense, contain the less sophisticated distributions within them. This proposition has been proven by mathematicians. This gets us to the highest level of sophistication in the next probability distribution which can be used as an approximation to all of those that we have discussed so far. This is the normal distribution.

A survey of 500 seniors in the Price Business School yields the following information. 75% go straight to work after graduation. 15% go on to work on their MBA. 9% stay to get a minor in another program. 1% go on to get a Master's in Finance.

What is the probability that more than 2 seniors go to graduate school for their Master's in finance?

This is clearly a binomial probability distribution problem. The choices are binary when we define the results as "Graduate School in Finance" versus "all other options." The random variable is discrete, and the events are, we could assume, independent. Solving as a binomial problem, we have:

Binomial Solution

n * p = 500 * 0.01 = 5 = µ
P ( 0 ) = 500 ! 0 ! ( 500 0 ) ! 0.01 0 ( 1 0.01 ) 500 0 = 0.00657
P ( 1 ) = 500 ! 1 ! ( 500 1 ) ! 0.01 1 ( 1 0.01 ) 500 1 = 0.03318
P ( 2 ) = 500 ! 2 ! ( 500 2 ) ! 0.01 2 ( 1 0.01 ) 500 2 = 0.08363

Adding all 3 together = 0.12339

1 0.12339 = 0.87661

Poisson approximation

n * p = 500 * 0.01 = 5 = μ
n * p * ( 1 p ) = 500 * 0.01 * ( 0.99 ) 5 = σ 2 = μ
P ( X ) = e −np ( n p ) x x ! = { P ( 0 ) = e −5 * 5 0 0 ! } + { P ( 1 ) = e −5 * 5 1 1 ! } + { P ( 2 ) = e −5 * 5 2 2 ! }
0.0067 + 0.0337 + 0.0842 = 0.1247
1 0.1247 = 0.8753

An approximation that is off by 1 one thousandth is certainly an acceptable approximation.

Questions & Answers

what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Introductory statistics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11776/1.26
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introductory statistics' conversation and receive update notifications?