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Probability exercises

I. Three horses A, B, and C are in a race. A is twice as likely to win as B, and B is three times as likely to win as C. What's their respective probability of winning? II. A gambler loads a die so that the probability of turning up a number of points is directly proportional to the number of points (i.e., 2Pr(1)=Pr(2), etc.). Find Pr(6). III. Flip a coin loaded so that Pr(H)=2Pr(T). If you get H, then randomly choose a number between 1 and 8 (included). If you get T, then randomly choose a number between 1 and 5 (included). What's the probability that you choose an even number? IV. John is given two vaccines, A and B. They are for the same disease and act independently. The probability that A is successfully is 20%; that probability that B is successful is 40%. One successful vaccine is enough for vaccination. What's the probability that John is successfully vaccinated? V. You are given two urns, A and B. A contains 4 red marbles, 2 white marbles, and 4 blue marbles. B contains 2 red marbles and 3 white marbles. Toss a fair die; if 2 or 5 appear, then choose a marble from B, otherwise choose a marble from A. What's the probability that you choose: 1. a red marble 2. a white marble 3. a blue marble VI. You have a box with three coins, one fair, one two headed, and one such that Pr(T)=2/3. Randomly choose a coin from the box and flip it. What's Pr(H)? What's Pr(T)?

VII. You have a bag with 1 red marble and 3 black marbles; you also have a fair coin and a coin loaded so that Pr(H)=3Pr(T). Choose a marble randomly. If it's red, then flip the fair coin; if it's black, flip the loaded coin. If you get H, then flip the other coin; if you get T, flip the same coin. Determine: 1. Pr(H on second flip) 2. Pr(T on both flips) 3. Pr(H on both flips)

Answers:
I. We know that Pr(A)=2Pr(B), and Pr(B)=3Pr(C); hence, Pr(A)=6Pr(C). But Pr(A)+Pr(B)+Pr(C)=1. Consequently, 6Pr(C)+3Pr(C)+Pr(C)=1. So, Pr(C)=1/10; Pr(B)=3/10; Pr(A)=6/10. II. We know that Pr(1)+Pr(2)+Pr(3)+Pr(4)+Pr(5)=Pr(6)=1; hence, Pr(1)+2Pr(1)+3Pr(1)+4Pr(1)+5Pr(1)+6Pr(1)=1. So, Pr(1)=1/21. Consequently, Pr(6)=6/21. III. Let's construct the tree:

Pr(E)=(2/3)x(1/2) + (1/3)x(2/5)= 14/30.

IV. Let's construct the tree, where "vaccine A is successful" is As and "vaccine B is successful" is Bs:

Pr(Joe is successfully vaccinated)=Pr(As v Bs)=1/5 + (4/5)x(2/5) = 13/25. Another approach is: Pr(Joe is successfully vaccinated)=Pr(As v Bs)= 1-Pr(-As & -Bs)= 1[(4/5)x(3/5)]= 13/25 V. Let's construct the tree:

Pr(R)= (1/3)x(2/5) + (2/3)x(4/10) = 6/15. Pr(W)= (1/3)x(3/5) + (2/3)x(2/10) = 1/3. Pr(B)= (2/3)x(4/10) = 4/15.

VI. Let's construct the tree:

Pr(H)= (1/3)x(1/2)+(1/3)+(1/3)x(1/3) = 11/18. Pr(T)= 1-Pr(H) = 1-(11/18) = 7/18. VII. Let's construct the tree:

1. Pr(H on second flip) = (1/4)x(1/2)x(3/4) + (1/4)x(1/2)x(1/2) + (3/4)x(3/4)x(1/2) + (3/4)x(1/4)x(3/4) = 37/64. 2. Pr(T on first flip & T on second flip)= (1/4)x(1/2)x(1/2) + (3/4)x(1/4)x(1/4) = 7/64. 3. Pr(H on first flip & H on second flip) = (1/4)x(1/2)x(3/4) + (3/4)x(3/4)x(1/2) = 3/8.

Introduction Probability is a straight forward topic at school. There are only a few areas of interest at this level. First though, you need to remember some of the fundamentals: Probability ranges from 0 (impossible) to 1 (will happen). You will NEVER get a probability beyond this range. If you do, your working is wrong somewhere. In probability, there are 3 classic examples - a coin, a die and a pack of playing cards. 1. The Coin A coin has 2 possible outcomes --> HEADS or TAILS. In an unbiased coin, each result is equally likely. So, the probability of getting heads is "1 head out of 2 possible outcomes" -> P(heads) = 1/2 the probability of getting tails is "1 tail out of 2 possible outcomes" -> P(tails) = 1/2 note: all the possible answers add up to give 1 2. The Die A die has 6 possible outcomes --> 1,2,3,4,5 or 6. In an unbiased die, each result is equally likely. So, the probability of getting a 1 is "the single 1 out of 6 possible outcomes" -> P(1) = 1/6

the probability of getting a 2 is "the single 2 out of 6 possible outcomes" --> P(2) = 1/6 the probability of getting a 3 is "the single 3 out of 6 possible outcomes" --> P(3) = 1/6 the probability of getting a 4 is "the single 4 out of 6 possible outcomes" --> P(4) = 1/6 the probability of getting a 5 is "the single 5 out of 6 possible outcomes" --> P(5) = 1/6 the probability of getting a 6 is "the single 6 out of 6 possible outcomes" --> P(6) = 1/6 note: all the possible answers add up to give 1 3. The Pack of cards A pack of cards has 52 cards. There are a variety of patterns we could use, eg. there are 26 red and 26 black --> half and half there are 4 suits --> clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades there are 13 cards in each suit there are 4 of each number of card eg "6 of clubs", "6 of diamonds", "6 of hearts" and "6 of spades". The probability of picking a heart at random is "there are 13 hearts out of 52 cards" OR "there are 4 suits, one of which is hearts". Both give the same answer --> P(hearts) = 1/4

EXAMPLES Find the following probabilities, given that all items are standard and nonbiased. Any card picked is also returned and the pack is shuffled too

after every choice. 1. probability of a head, tossing a coin. 2. probability of rolling a 4 on a die. 3. probability of picking a red card 4. probability of picking an ace 5. probability of picking a diamond 6. probability of picking the "9 of clubs" solutions: 1. P(head) = 1/2 2. P(4) = 1/6 3. P(red) = 26/52 --> 1/2 4. P(ace) = 4/52 --> 1/13 5. P(diamond) = 13/52 --> 1/4 6. P(9 of clubs) = 1/52 EXAMPLES A bag contains 1 yellow, 3 red and 4 blue marbles. Picking one marble at random and then replacing it in the bag, find the following probabilities: 1. probability of picking the yellow marble. 2. probability of picking a red marble. 3. probability of picking a blue marble. 4. probability of not picking a red marble. solutions: 1. P(yellow) = 1/8 2. P(red) = 3/8 3. P(blue) = 4/8 --> 1/2 4. P(not red)? well not red means it can be either yellow or blue. How many is that? it is 1+4 marbles... ie 5 out of 8 marbles. So, P(not red) =

5/8

The following is a very important fact to remember: P(event) + P(not event) = 1 This means that whatever the probability is for "an event to occur", the probability of "the event not occuring" is enough to make both probabilities add to 1. This is because the event happens or it doesn't happen - together there is no other possible outcome, so together their probabilities have to add up to 1. so. going back to question 4, P(not red) is 1-P(red) --> P(not red) = 1 - 3/8 --> P(not red) = 5/8 which is the same answer we got by thinking about the yellow and blue marbles.

Conclusion This is the end of the basics of Probability. If we stopped here, the topic would be pretty useless in real world situations, so the next lesson will advance the theory a little into such situations as: "find the probabily of rolling a 2 or a 3 on a die" or "what is the probability of rolling a 2 and also picking an ace from a pack of cards".

Introduction to Probability
Probability is a way to describe the likelihood of something happening. You usually encounter probability often without even realizing it. For example, when the weather report says that there is a 60% chance of rain today, that is an expression of probability. And if someone says that you have a 50-50 chance of guessing a coin toss - that too, is an expression of probability. While these are everyday occurrences that deal with probability, when we talk about probability mathematically, we usually write probabilities either in fraction or decimal form. In general, we say that the probability of something happening is the ratio of the number of ways that thing can happen to the total number of ways for all things to happen. The thing we want to happen is usually called the event. So we will need to know the number of ways for the event to happen and the total number of ways for all events to happen. In a simpler form,

For example, lets think about rolling a die (this is singular for dice). A die has six sides and a number from 1 to 6 appears on each side. We usually assume that we have a fair die meaning that each number has an equal chance of occurring. Lets talk about the probability of rolling a 4. In this case, rolling a 4 is the event we are interested in. There is only one way for this to happen, so 1 is the numerator of the ratio. Because there are six possibilities, 6 will be the denominator of the ratio. We usually express the probability of rolling a 4 as:

The six possibilities that we use as the denominator of the ratio are usually referred to as the sample space. The sample space is where you list all the possible outcomes for an experiment. Our experiment was to roll the die one time. Sometimes listing the sample space is very helpful in knowing how many outcomes there are in an experiment. Other times, like with rolling a die, you can just think about how many ways something can happen. And still other times, there may be so many possibilities that you dont want to list them and you cant just think about them easily. We wont worry about those situations here, but be aware of all the ways you can deal with a sample space (its simple and you dont have to list it, its helpful to list all the possibilities, its too complicated to list every possibility). It is interesting to note that the probability of rolling any number 1 - 6 will always be since all numbers have an equal chance of happening. It is also important to note that if you add all the probabilities together, you will get 1.

When you add all the probabilities associated with all the events of an experiment, you

will get one. This is an important rule to remember when working with probabilities. Knowing that all the probabilities associated with an experiment equal one can save some time in working some problems. What if a problem asked you to find the probability of NOT rolling a 3? That means you would be looking for the probability of rolling a 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6. You would need to find all five of those individual probabilities and add them up. But an easier way is to work with the complement. Thecomplement is a way of finding the probability of an event NOT happening. So the probability of NOT getting a 3 is found by finding theprobability of 3 and then subtracting from 1.

or

Another important rule deals with the type of numbers that are acceptable as a probability answer. Probabilities can only take on values from 0 to 1. Keep in mind that 0 and 1 are acceptable values for a probability answer. Mathematically this is represented as .

A probability of 0 means that an event is impossible and a probability of 1 means that an event is certain. For example, if we go back to our die problem, the probability of rolling a 7 is zero because you can never roll a 7 with just one die.

The probability that you are used a computer to access this lesson is 1 because the only way to see these lessons is on-line or by printing the web page. Either way, it is certain that you used a computer to access this lesson. P(use a computer to access this lesson) = 1 If an event is neither certain nor impossible, then its probability should be somewhere between 0 and 1. If you perform a computation for aprobability and your answer is negative or larger than 1, then your answer is incorrect. This will be useful in later lessons as you perform more complicated computations. In addition to the die examples already discussed there are several other common types of problems that you will come across when working with probability. Common Examples: i. Marbles in a Box

Suppose there are 3 red marbles, 6 blue marbles, and 7 green marbles in a box. The probability of pulling out a red marble is 3/16. There are 3 red marbles which gives us our numerator of 3 and there are 16 total marbles which gives us our denominator.

ii.

Cards

In order to solve problems involving cards, you should learn some basic facts about a deck of cards if you are not familiar with cards.

There are 52 cards in a deck. The 52 cards are broken up into 4 suites (spades, clubs, diamonds, hearts). Each suite has 13 cards (Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Jack, Queen, King). There are 4 of each type of card in the deck (4 aces, 3 10s, etc.) Two suites are red (diamonds and hearts). Two suites are black (spades and clubs).

So a simple probability problem that is very common would be to ask what is the probability of pulling out a 6. This probability would be 4/52 which could then be simplified to 1/13. Notice there are 4 sixs in a deck out of a total of 5 2 cards which is how we get 4/52. You should always simplify your final answer when expressing a probability. iii. Dice

We have looked at some examples that deal with rolling one die. However it is very common to see problems that involve rolling two dice. When rolling two dice, there are 36 possibilities. It is usually helpful to consider a first die and a second die to keep the two distinct. The possibilities listed below are ordered pairs indicating the number of the first die and then the number on the second die. To find the sum, simply add the two numbers. (1, 1) (1, 2) (1, 3) (1, 4) (1, 5) (1, 6) (2, 1) (2, 2) (2, 3) (2, 4) (2, 5) (2, 6) (3, 1) (3, 2) (3, 3) (3, 4) (3, 5) (3, 6) (4, 1) (4, 2) (4, 3) (4, 4) (4, 5) (4, 6) (5, 1) (5, 2) (5, 3) (5, 4) (5, 5) (5, 6) (6, 1) (6, 2) (6, 3) (6, 4) (6, 5) (6, 6) So if we want to find the probability of rolling a sum of 8, we need to find all the possible ways to roll an 8 (there are 5) out of the total possibilities which is 36. Therefore, P(rolling sum of 8) = 5/36

Addition Rule of Probability


There are many rules associated with solving probability problems. This lesson deals with the addition rule. The addition rule helps you solveprobability problems that involve two events. Even though we discuss two events (usually labeled A and B), were really talking about performing one task (rolling dice, drawing cards, spinning a spinner, etc.) and finding about the probability of two things happening in that one task.

When asked to find the probability of A or B, we mean that A can happen, or B can happen, or both can happen together. This is what is stated in the addition rule. The Addition Rule: Consider events A and B. P(A What The Rule Means: Suppose we roll two dice and want to find the probability of rolling a sum of 6 or 8. This can be written in words as P(6 or 8) or more mathematically is P(6 8). Remember that OR (the union symbol ) means that one or the other or both events can happen. So what is the probability of getting a 6 or an 8 or both? You may want to refer to the dice chart in introductory lesson on basic probability if you need to familiarize yourself with the outcomes of rolling two dice. P(6) = 5/36 P(8) = 5/36 P(6 and 8 together) is impossible so the probability is 0. So P(6 8) = 5/36 + 5/36 - 0 = 10/36 = 5/18 B)= P(A) + P(B) - P(A B)

Since rolling a sum of 6 and 8 cannot happen together at the same time, we say that they are disjoint or mutually exclusive. When two events are disjoint, you do not have to worry about subtracting the probability of both events happening together since that probability will always be 0. Since it can sometimes save a step, a lot of students like to determine if events are disjoint before finding individual probabilities Let's Practice:

i.

You are going to pull one card out of a deck. Find P(Ace

King).

The addition rule says we need to find P(Ace) + P(King) - P(both). If you need to familiarize yourself with the features of a deck of cards, refer to introductory lesson on basic probability for more information. P(Ace) = 4/52 P(King) = 4/52 P(both at the same time) = 0 P(Ace King) = 4/52 + 4/52 = 8/52 = 2/13

Notice that the final answer is always simplified. However, most of the time it is best to NOT simplify along the way so that youll have easy common denominators.

ii.

You are going to roll two dice. Find P(sum that is even or sum that is a multiple of 3).

The addition rule says we need to find P(even) + P(multiple of 3) - P(both). If you need to familiarize yourself with the possible combinations of rolling two dice, refer to introductory lesson on basic probability for a chart showing all 36 possibilities. P(even) means how many ways to roll 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12. P(even) = 18/36 P(multiple of 3) means how many ways to roll 3, 6, 9 or 12. P(multiple of 3) = 12/36 P(both) means what is the overlap. Notice that 6 and 12 occur in both places and have been counted twice. We need to subtract those out. P(both) = 6/36 So P(sum that is even or a multiple of 3) = 18/36 + 12/36 - 6/36 = 24/36 = 2/3.

Multiplication Rule of Probability


The addition rule helped us solve problems when we performed one task and wanted to know the probability of two things happening during that task. This lesson deals with the multiplication rule. The multiplication rule also deals with two events, but in these problems the events occur as a result of more than one task (rolling one die then another, drawing two cards, spinning a spinner twice, pulling two marbles out of a bag, etc). When asked to find the probability of A and B, we want to find out the probability of events A and B happening. The Multiplication Rule: Consider events A and B. P(A B)= P(A) P(B).

Note: Some books will say to take care that A and B are independent, but the rule can also be used with dependent events, you just have to be more careful in find P(A) and P(B). What The Rule Means: Suppose we roll one die followed by another and want to find the probability of rolling a 4 on the first die and rolling an even number on the second die. Notice in this problem we are not dealing with the sum of both dice. We are only dealing with the probability of 4 on one die only and then, as a separate event, the probability of an even number on one die only. P(4) = 1/6 P(even) = 3/6 So P(4 even) = (1/6)(3/6) = 3/36 = 1/12

While the rule can be applied regardless of dependence or independence of events, we should note here that rolling a 4 on one die followed by rolling an even number on the second die are independent events. Each die is treated as a separate thing and what

happens on the first die does not influence or effect what happens on the second die. This is our basic definition of independent events: the outcome of one event does not influence or effect the outcome of another event. Well look at examples later that deal with dependent events. Just keep in mind that what happens on one event will effect the other event. Let's Practice:

i.

Suppose you have a box with 3 blue marbles, 2 red marbles, and 4 yellow marbles. You are going to pull out one marble, record its color, put it back in the box and draw another marble. What is the probability of pulling out a red marble followed by a blue marble?

The multiplication rule says we need to find P(red) P(red) = 2/9 P(blue) = 3/9 P(red blue) = (2/9)(3/9) = 6/81 = 2/27

P(blue).

The events in this example were independent. Once the first marble was pulled out and its color recorded, it was returned to the box. Therefore, the probability for the second marble was not effected by what happened on the first marble. Notice that the final answer is always simplified. Some students find it helpful to simplify before multiplying, but the final answer must always be simplified.

ii.

Consider the same box of marbles as in the previous example. However in this case, we are going to pull out the first marble, leave it out, and then pull out another marble. What is the probability of pulling out a red marble followed by a blue marble?

We can still use the multiplication rule which says we need to find P(red) P(blue). But be aware that in this case when we go to pull out the second marble, there will only be 8 marbles left in the bag. P(red) = 2/9 P(blue) = 3/8 P(red blue) = (2/9)(3/8) = 6/72 = 1/12

The events in this example were dependent. When the first marble was pulled out and kept out, it effected the probability of the second event. This is what is meant by dependent events.

iii.

Suppose you are going to draw two cards from a standard deck. What is

the probability that the first card is an ace and the second card is a jack (just one of several ways to get blackjack or 21).

Using the multiplication rule we get P(ace) P(jack) = (4/52)(4/51) = 16/2652 = 4/663

Notice that this will be the same probability even if the question had asked for the probability of a jack followed by an ace.