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# 05 Random Variables

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### 05 Random Variables

1. 1. Stat310 Discrete random variables Hadley Wickham Tuesday, 26 January 2010
2. 2. Homework • Don’t forget to pledge! • Model answers up v. soon, and on track to get your homeworks back on Thursday. • Homework help session Tuesday & Wednesday 4-5pm. Details on webpage. • Will be other extra credit opportunities Tuesday, 26 January 2010
3. 3. Data visualisation mini course Feb 13 (Saturday). 10am - 3pm. http://www.ece.rice.edu/ece/ datavis2010.html The applied side of statistics - getting data and ﬁguring out what is going on. No maths, lots of graphics and programming Tuesday, 26 January 2010
4. 4. 1. Independence example 2. Random variables 1. Bernoulli 2. Binomial 3. Mean and variance Tuesday, 26 January 2010
5. 5. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
6. 6. Are the wearing glasses and wearing hat events independent? 21 Dennis Washingtons in total Tuesday, 26 January 2010
7. 7. Calculations P(glasses) = 9 / 21 P(hat) = 9 / 21 P(glasses and hat) = 3 / 21 = 0.14 P(glasses) P(hat) = 9 / 49 = 0.18 Wearing a glasses and hat together is (slightly) less likely than we’d expect if they were independent. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
8. 8. Deﬁnitions A random variable is a random experiment with a numeric sample space. Usually given a capital letter like X, Y or Z. (More formally a random variable is a function that converts outcomes from a random experiment into numbers) The space (or support) of a random variable is the range of the function (cf. sample space) Tuesday, 26 January 2010
9. 9. Deﬁnitions If the size of the support is ﬁnite or countably inﬁnite, then the random variable is discrete. If the size of the support is uncountably inﬁnite, then the random variable is continuous. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
10. 10. pmf/pdf Every random experiment has a probability function. Every discrete random variable as probability mass function (pmf). Every continuous random variable has probability density function (pdf). Different ways of deﬁning the function that says how likely each outcome is. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
11. 11. This week: discrete Next week: continuous This diverges from the book, but I think it’s easier to work with one set of mathematical tools at a time Tuesday, 26 January 2010
12. 12. Notation Normally call pmf f If we have multiple rv’s and want to make clear which pmf belongs to which rv, we write: fX(x) fY(y) fZ(z) for X, Y, Z f1(x) f2(x) f3(3) for X1, X2, X3 Tuesday, 26 January 2010
13. 13. P (X = xi ) = f (xi ) P (a X b) = f (xi ) xi ∈(a,b) To be a pmf, f must satisfy: f (xi ) = 1 xi ∈S f (xi ) ≥ 0, ∀ xi ∈ S Tuesday, 26 January 2010
14. 14. x f(x) x f(x) x f(x) -1 0.3 10 -0.1 1 0.35 0 0.3 20 0.9 2 0.25 2 0.3 30 0.2 3 0.2 4 0.1 x f(x) x f(x) 5 0.1 5 1 10 0.1 20 0.9 30 0.2 Tuesday, 26 January 2010
15. 15. Notation Can give pmf in two ways: • List of numbers (for small n) • Function (for large n) These are equivalent! Also useful to display visually. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
16. 16. a) b) 0.8 1.0 0.6 0.8 0.6 0.4 f(x) f(x) 0.4 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 x x c) d) 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 f(x) f(x) 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 −0.1 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 x x Tuesday, 26 January 2010
17. 17. Distributions In practice, many real problems can be approximated with just a few different families of pmf/pdfs. These are called distributions. A distribution has parameters which control how it acts. If a random variable has a named distribution, then we write it as: X ~ DistributionName(parameters) Tuesday, 26 January 2010
18. 18. Bernoulli distribution Single binary event: either happens (with probability p) or doesn’t happen. Let X be a random variable that takes the value 1 if the event happens, 0 otherwise. Then X ~ Bernoulli(p) f(1) = P(X = 1) = p f(0) = ? Tuesday, 26 January 2010
19. 19. Wait, is that a pmf? Tuesday, 26 January 2010
20. 20. Binomial distribution n independent Bernoulli trials with the same probability of success. Let X be the number of successes. Then we say X ~ Binomial(n, p) P(X = x) = f(x) = ?? Tuesday, 26 January 2010
21. 21. Wait, is that a pmf? Random mathematical fact. Need to check the two conditions. First easy, second a bit harder. (If I ever give you a random mathematical fact you can expect to use it. Main challenge is recognising where it is needed) Tuesday, 26 January 2010
22. 22. Example Let X be the number of babies that a woman has in the next 5 years. Assume the chance of having a baby in a given year is a constant 10%. What additional assumption do we need to use the binomial distribution? Is it reasonable? What is f(0)? What is f(1)? What is P(X 0)? Tuesday, 26 January 2010
23. 23. Mean variance Mean summarises the “middle” of the distribution. Variance summarise the “spread” of the distribution. Mean = E(X) = “Sum” of all outcomes, weighted by their probability. Variance = Var(X) = E[ (X - E[X])2) ] = expected squared distance from mean Tuesday, 26 January 2010
24. 24. Intuition for mean Imagine the number line as a beam with weights of f(x) at position x. The balance point is the mean. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
25. 25. Example Assume 95% of you have 0 stds. 4% of you have 1 std. 1% have 2 stds. What is the expected number of stds? http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5806a1.htm Tuesday, 26 January 2010
26. 26. Mean of a binomial random variable For named distributions we can usually work out the mean (and variance) as functions of the parameters. This is typically a little tricky, but once we’ve done it, we can use a simple formula every time we see that distribution. Tuesday, 26 January 2010
27. 27. Another way http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/? i=sum_(x%3D0)^(n)+(x+n!+/+(x!+(n-x)!) +p^x+(1-p)^(n-x)) Tuesday, 26 January 2010
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