SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
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4.1 RANDOM VARIABLE
Definition:
A random variable is a variable whose value is determined by the outcome of a random experiment.
Suppose one family is randomly selected from the population. The process of
random selection is called random or chance experiment.
Let X be the number of vehicles owned by the selected family (0, 1, 2, …, n).
Therefore the first column represents five possible values (0, 1, 2, 3 and 4) of
vehicles owned by the selected family.
This table shows that 30 families do not have vehicle, 470 families have
1 vehicle, 850 families have 2 vehicles, 490 families have 3 vehicles and
160 families have 4 vehicles.
In general, a random variable is denoted by X or Y.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
4.2
DISCRETE RANDOM VARIABLE
Definition:
A random variable that assumes countable values is called discrete random variable.
Number of houses sold by a developer in a given month.
Number of cars rented at a rental shop during a given month.
Number of reports received at the police station on a given day.
Number of fish caught on a fishing trip.
4.2 PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTION OF A DISCRETE RANDOM VARIABLE
Definition:
The probability distribution of a discrete random variable lists all the possible values that the random variable can assume and their corresponding probabilities.
It is used to represent a population.
The probability distribution can be presented in the form of a
mathematical formula, a table or a graph.
Consider the table below. Let X be the number of vehicles owned by a randomly selected family. Write the probability distribution of X and graph for the data.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
Solution: 

X 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
P(X) 
0.015 
0.235 
0.425 
0.245 
0.080 
P(X)
0.45
0.40
0.35
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
X
During the summer months, a rental agency keeps track of the number of cars it rents each day during a period of 90 days and X denotes the number of cars rented per day. Construct a probability distribution and graph for the data.
X 
Number of days 
0 
45 
1 
30 
2 
15 
Total 
90 
Solution: 

When 
, 
Hence, the probability distribution for X:
X 
0 
1 
2 
P(X) 
0.5 
0.33 
0.17 
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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Whereas the graph is shown below:
SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
A small farm has 10 cows where 6 of them are males and the rest are females. A
veterinary in country XY wants to study about the foot and mouth disease which attacks the cows. Therefore, she randomly selects without replacement, two cows as a sample from the farm. Based on the study, construct a probability distribution where X
is the random variable representing the number of male cows being selected. (Use a
tree diagram to illustrate the above event).
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Conditions for probabilities for discrete random variable.
i) The probability assigned to each value of a random variable x must be between 0 and 1.
0 P(X)
1,for each value of x
ii) The sum of the probabilities assigned to all possible values of x is equal to 1.
P(X) _{=} _{1}
The following table lists the probability distribution of car sales per day in a used car shop based on past data.
Car Sales per day, X 
0 
1 
2 
3 
P(X) 
0.10 
0.25 
0.30 
0.35 
Find the probability that the number of car sales per day is,
a) none
b) exactly 1
c) 1 to 3
d) more than 1
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e) at most 2
SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
4.3.1 Mean of a Discrete Random Variables
It is denoted by
and calculated as:
X .P ( X )
The mean of a discrete random variable X is also called its expected value and is denoted by E(X),
E(X) =
X .P ( X )
4.3.2 Standard Deviation of a Discrete Random Variable
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
It is denoted by and calculated as:
FORMULA
^{}
x
2
2
P (x )
A higher value for the standard deviation of a discrete random variable indicates that X can assume values over a large range about the mean.
In contrast, a smaller value for the standard deviation indicates that most of the values that X can assume cluster closely around the mean.
The following table lists the probability distribution of car sales per day in a used car dealer based on past data. P(X) is the probability of the corresponding value of X = x. Calculate the expected number of sales per day and followed by its standard deviation.
X 
P(X) 
0 
0.1 
1 
0.25 
2 
0.3 
3 
0.35 
Total 
1.00 
Solution:
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
During the summer months, a rental agency keeps track of the number of chain saws it rents each day during a period of 90 days and X denotes the number of saws rented per day. What is the expected number of saws rented per day? Then, find the standard deviation.
X 
0 
1 
2 
P(X) 
0.5 
0.33 
0.17 
Solution:
Mean
Standard Deviation
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
4.4
CUMULATIVE DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION
Generally the term cumulative probability refers to the probabilities that X is
less than or greater than or equal to, a particular value.
For a discrete random variable, the cumulative probability P ( X x ) is a
function F ( x ) 
: 

FORMULA 

^{} 

( F x ) 
( P X x 
) 

t 
( P X x 
) 

x 
x 0 
and
FORMULA
P ( X x ),
x x , x , x
0
1
2
is the probability distribution function for X.
A discrete random variable X has the following probability distribution.
X 0
1
2
3
P ( X x )
1
30
3
10
1
2
1
6
Construct the cumulative distribution of X.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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Solution:
SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
X 
0 
1 
2 
3 
P(X) 

F(X) 
A discrete random variable X has the following cumulative distribution.
F
(
x
)
1
21
3
21
6
21
10
21
15
21
1
, for 0 

x 

1 
, for 1 

x 

2 
, for 2 

x 

3 
, for 3 

x 

4 
, for 4 

x 

5 
, for x 
5 
a) Construct the probability distribution of X.
X 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
P(X) 

F(X) 
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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b) Construct the graph of the:
i. probability distribution of X
.
ii. cumulative distribution of X
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
During school holiday, the manager of Victory Hotel records the number of room bookings being cancelled each day during a period of 50 days; the results are shown below and Y denotes the number of room bookings being cancelled per day.
Number of room bookings being cancelled per day, Y 
Number of days 
0 
2 
1 
4 
2 
7 
3 
8 
4 
13 
5 
10 
6 
3 
7 
3 
a) Construct the probability distribution of X.
b) Then, draw a bar chart for the probability distribution.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
c) The manager expects that five room bookings were cancelled for a day. Is the manager expectation true? Explain.
d) Find the probability that at most three room bookings were cancelled.
e) Find the standard deviation for the number of room bookings being cancelled.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
4.5
CONTINUOUS RANDOM VARIABLE
Definition:
A random variable that can assume any value contained in one or more intervals is called a continuous random variable.
Examples of continuous random variables,
The weight of a person.
The time taken to complete a 100 meter dash.
The duration of a battery.
The height of a building.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
EXERCISE 4:
1. The following table gives the probability distribution of a discrete random variable X.
x 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
P(X) 
0.03 
0.17 
0.22 
0.31 
0.15 
0.12 
Find the probability of getting:
a) exactly 1.
b) at most 1.
c) at least 3.
d) 2 to 5.
e) more than 3.
2. The following table lists the frequency distribution of data collected by a local research agency. Let X denote the number of television sets owned by a randomly selected family from this town.
Number of TV sets owned 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
Number of families 
110 
891 
329 
340 
151 
76 
103 
a) Construct the probability distribution table.
b) Find the probability:
i. exactly 3.
ii. more than 2.
iii. at most 2.
iv. 1 to 3.
v. at least 4.
3. According to a survey, 65% university students smoke. Three students are randomly selected from this university and let X denote the number of students in this sample who do not smoke.
a) Draw a tree diagram for this problem.
b) Construct a probability distribution table.
c) Find the probability:
i. at most 1.
ii. 1 to 2.
iii. at least 2.
iv. more than 1.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
4. The following table gives the probability distribution of the number of camcorders sold on a given day at an electronic store.
Camcorder sold 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
Probability 
0.05 
0.12 
0.19 
0.30 
0.18 
0.10 
0.06 
Calculate the mean and standard deviation for this probability distribution.
5. According to a survey, 30% of adults are against using animals for research. Assume that this result holds true for the current population of all adults. In a random sample of three adults, let X be the number of adults who agree using animals for research. Obtain:
a) 
the probability distribution of X. 
b) 
mean. 
b) 
standard deviation. 
6. In a genetics investigation, cat litters with ten kittens of which three are males, are studied. The scientist selects three kittens randomly. Let X be the number of female kittens being selected and construct probability distribution for X (you may use tree diagram to represent the above event). Based on the probability distribution obtained, find the:
a) mean.
b) standard deviation.
7. A box holds 5 whites and 3 black marbles. If two marbles are drawn randomly without replacement and X denoted the number of white marbles,
a) Find the probability distribution of X.
b) Plot the cumulative frequency distribution (CFD) of X.
8. The following table is the probability distribution for the number of traffic accidents which occur daily in a small city.
Number of
accidents
_{(}_{Y}_{)}
0
1
2
3
4
5
P(Y)
0.10
0.20
9a
3a
a
a
a) Find the probability of:
i. exactly three accidents occur daily.
ii. between one and four accidents occur daily.
iii. at least three accidents occur daily.
iv. more than five accidents occur daily and explain your answer.
b) Traffic Department of that small city expects that 5 accidents occur daily. Do you agree? Justify your opinion.
c) Compute the standard deviation.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
9. The manager of large computer network has developed the following probability distribution of the number of interruptions per day:
Interruptions(Y) 
0 
1 
2 
3 
4 
5 
6 
P(Y) 
0.32 
0.35 
0.18 
0.08 
0.04 
0.02 
0.01 
a) Find the probability of:
i. more than three interruptions per day.
ii. from one to five interruptions per day.
iii. at least an interruption per day.
b) Compute the expected value.
c) Compute the standard deviation.
10. You are trying to develop a strategy for investing in two different stocks. The anticipated annual return for a RM1,000 investment in each stock has the following probability distribution.
Returns (RM), X 

Stock A 
Stock B 
P(X) 
100 
50 
0.1 
0 
150 
0.3 
80 
20 
0.3 
150 
100 
a 
a) Find the value of a.
b) Compute
i. the expected return for Stock A and Stock B.
ii. the standard deviation for both stocks.
c) Would you invest in Stock A or Stock B? Explain.
11. Classify each of the following random variables as discrete or continuous.
a) The time left on a parking meter.
b) The number of goals scored by a football player.
c) The total pounds of fish caught on a fishing trip.
d) The number of cans in a vending machine.
e) The time spent by a doctor examining a patient.
f) The amount of petrol filled in the car.
g) The price of a concert ticket.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables
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Matric. No.:
SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
Group:
TUTORIAL CHAPTER 4
The random variable X represents the number of children per family in a rural area in Ohio, with the probability distribution: p(x) = 0.05x, x = 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
1. Express the probability distribution in a tabular form.
X
2
3
4
5
6
P(X)
2. Find the expected number of children per family.
3. Find the variance and standard deviation of X.
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables Tutorial
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4. Find the following probabilities:
a. P(X 4)
b. P(X > 4)
c. P(3 X 5)
d. P(2 < X < 4)
e. P(X = 4.5)
Chapter 4: Distribution of Random Variables Tutorial
SQQS1013 Elementary Statistics
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