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LECTURE 1 0F 7

9.1 RANDOM VARIABLES



9.2 DISCRETE RANDOM
VARIABLES


(a) define random variable
(b) identify discrete and continuous
variables
(c) Understand probability
distribution functions
~is a function that assigns a numerical
value to each simple event in a sample
space.
~ RV will be denoted by uppercase letters X
or Y and its values are denoted by lowercase
letters or
x
y
A random variable (RV)
Example :
If two coins are tossed and a letter
X is used to represent the number of
heads, then = 0, 1, 2.

Example :

If two dice are rolled and a letter
Y is used to represent the sum of
the number shown on dice,
then, = 2, 3, 4,12
x
y
Example:

the number of cars sold during a given
month

the number of houses in a certain block
A Discrete Random Variable
~ is a function with countable or exact values
A random variable can be discrete or
continuous
Example:

the height of a person

the time taken to complete an exam
A Continuous Random Variable
~ is a function with values contained in one or
more intervals
( )
k
i
i 1
P X x 1
=
= =

If X is a discrete random variable then:


( )
i
0 P X= x 1 s s
Probability Distribution of a Discrete
Random Variable
~ list all the possible values that the random
variables can assume and their corresponding
probabilities.
and
The probability distribution can be
presented in the form of
i) table
ii) function
iii) graph


Example 1:
If two fair coins are tossed then the
possible outcomes are:
{HH,HT,TH,TT}
Let X represents the number of tail
obtained.
So,
= 0,1,2 x
(i) table
P(X = x)
2 1 0 x
1
4
1
2
1
4
(ii) function
1
x 0, 2
4
P(X x)
1
x 1
2

= =

Probability distribution for X


x
P(X=x)
(iii) graph
1
_
2
1
_
4
Example 2:
A fair die is rolled. If X represent the number
on die, show that X is a discrete random
variable. Find P(X < 3) and .
P(X=x)
6 5 4 3 2 1
Solution:
The probability distribution of X
( )
6
1
i
i
P X x
=
= =

Thus, X is a discrete random variable.


1
( )
P 1< X 5 s
X = the number on die
x
( )
P X < 3


=
P(X=x)
6 5 4 3 2 1
x
( )
P 1< X 5


s
2
=
3
P(X=x)
6 5 4 3 2 1
x
Example 3
Random variable X has the following
probability distribution
( ) ( )
kx x 1, 2, 3, 4
P X x k 10 x x 5, 6, 7
0 otherwise
=

= = =

where is a constant k
a) Determine the value of k
b) Construct a probability distribution table
( )
c) Find (i) P X>2
( )
(ii) P X= 4 or X = 6

( )
iii)P X-2 1 <
solution
22 1 k =
1
22
k =
(a)
( ) ( )
kx x 1, 2, 3, 4
P X x k 10 x x 5, 6, 7
0 otherwise
=

= = =

(b) The probability distribution table


7 6 5 4 3 2 1
( )
P X x =
3
22
4
22
5
22
1
22
3
22
2
22
4
22
( ) ( )
kx x 1, 2, 3, 4
P X x k 10 x x 5, 6, 7
0 otherwise
=

= = =

x
1
22
k =
( )
(ii) P X = 4 or X = 6 =
( )
(i) P X > 2 =
(c)
1 2
1
22 22
=
4 4
22 22
+
19
22
=
7 6 5 4 3 2 1
3
22
4
22
5
22
1
22
3
22
2
22
4
22
( )
P X x =
x
( )
(iii) P X-2 1


< =
( )
= P 1 < X < 3
2
=
22
1
11
=
CONCLUSION
X is known as a discrete random
variable if:
( )
P X = 0
i
x >
( )
1
1
k
i
i
P X x
=
= =

( )
0 P X=x 1 s s