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Slides Prepared by JOHN S. LOUCKS St.

Edwards University

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Chapter 6 Continuous Probability Distributions


Uniform Probability Distribution Normal Probability Distribution Exponential Probability Distribution f(x)

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Continuous Probability Distributions

A continuous random variable can assume any value in an interval on the real line or in a collection of intervals. It is not possible to talk about the probability of the random variable assuming a particular value. Instead, we talk about the probability of the random variable assuming a value within a given interval. The probability of the random variable assuming a value within some given interval from x1 to x2 is defined to be the area under the graph of the probability density function between x1 and x2.

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Uniform Probability Distribution

A random variable is uniformly distributed whenever the probability is proportional to the intervals length. Uniform Probability Density Function f(x) = 1/(b - a) for a < x < b =0 elsewhere where: a = smallest value the variable can assume b = largest value the variable can assume

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Uniform Probability Distribution

Expected Value of x
E(x) = (a + b)/2

Variance of x Var(x) = (b - a)2/12 where: a = smallest value the variable can assume b = largest value the variable can assume

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Example: Slater's Buffet

Uniform Probability Distribution Slater customers are charged for the amount of salad they take. Sampling suggests that the amount of salad taken is uniformly distributed between 5 ounces and 15 ounces. The probability density function is f(x) = 1/10 for 5 < x < 15 =0 elsewhere where: x = salad plate filling weight

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Example: Slater's Buffet

Uniform Probability Distribution for Salad Plate Filling Weight f(x)

1/10 x 5 10 15 Salad Weight (oz.)

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Example: Slater's Buffet

Uniform Probability Distribution What is the probability that a customer will take between 12 and 15 ounces of salad? f(x) P(12 < x < 15) = 1/10(3) = .3 1/10 x 5 10 12 15 Salad Weight (oz.)

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Example: Slater's Buffet

Expected Value of x E(x) = (a + b)/2 = (5 + 15)/2 = 10 Variance of x Var(x) = (b - a)2/12 = (15 5)2/12 = 8.33

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Normal Probability Distribution

The normal probability distribution is the most important distribution for describing a continuous random variable. It has been used in a wide variety of applications: Heights and weights of people Test scores Scientific measurements Amounts of rainfall It is widely used in statistical inference

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Normal Probability Distribution

Normal Probability Density Function

1 ( x )2 / 2 2 f ( x) e 2
where:

= mean = standard deviation = 3.14159


e = 2.71828

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Normal Probability Distribution

Graph of the Normal Probability Density Function f(x)

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Normal Probability Distribution

Characteristics of the Normal Probability Distribution The distribution is symmetric, and is often illustrated as a bell-shaped curve. Two parameters, (mean) and (standard deviation), determine the location and shape of the distribution. The highest point on the normal curve is at the mean, which is also the median and mode. The mean can be any numerical value: negative, zero, or positive. continued
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Normal Probability Distribution

Characteristics of the Normal Probability Distribution The standard deviation determines the width of the curve: larger values result in wider, flatter curves. = 10

= 50

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Normal Probability Distribution

Characteristics of the Normal Probability Distribution The total area under the curve is 1 (.5 to the left of the mean and .5 to the right). Probabilities for the normal random variable are given by areas under the curve.

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Normal Probability Distribution

Characteristics of the Normal Probability Distribution 68.26% of values of a normal random variable are within +/- 1 standard deviation of its mean. 95.44% of values of a normal random variable are within +/- 2 standard deviations of its mean. 99.72% of values of a normal random variable are within +/- 3 standard deviations of its mean.

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Standard Normal Probability Distribution

A random variable that has a normal distribution with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of one is said to have a standard normal probability distribution. The letter z is commonly used to designate this normal random variable. Converting to the Standard Normal Distribution

We can think of z as a measure of the number of standard deviations x is from .


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2003 Thomson/South-Western

Example: Pep Zone


Standard Normal Probability Distribution Pep Zone sells auto parts and supplies including a popular multi-grade motor oil. When the stock of this oil drops to 20 gallons, a replenishment order is placed. The store manager is concerned that sales are being lost due to stockouts while waiting for an order. It has been determined that leadtime demand is normally distributed with a mean of 15 gallons and a standard deviation of 6 gallons. The manager would like to know the probability of a stockout, P(x > 20).
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Example: Pep Zone

Standard Normal Probability Distribution The Standard Normal table shows an area of .2967 for the region between the z = 0 and z = .83 lines below. The shaded tail area is .5 - .2967 = .2033. The probability of a stockout is .2033. z = (x - )/ = (20 - 15)/6 = .83 Area = .2967 Area = .5 - .2967 = .2033 Area = .5 0 .83 z
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2003 Thomson/South-Western

Example: Pep Zone

Using the Standard Normal Probability Table


.00 .01 .02 .03 .04 .05 .06 .07 .08 .09

.0 .0000 .0040 .0080 .0120 .0160 .0199 .0239 .0279 .0319 .0359 .1 .0398 .0438 .0478 .0517 .0557 .0596 .0636 .0675 .0714 .0753 .2 .0793 .0832 .0871 .0910 .0948 .0987 .1026 .1064 .1103 .1141 .3 .1179 .1217 .1255 .1293 .1331 .1368 .1406 .1443 .1480 .1517 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 .1554 .1591 .1628 .1664 .1700 .1736 .1772 .1808 .1844 .1879 .1915 .1950 .1985 .2019 .2054 .2088 .2123 .2157 .2190 .2224 .2257 .2291 .2324 .2357 .2389 .2422 .2454 .2486 .2518 .2549 .2580 .2612 .2642 .2673 .2704 .2734 .2764 .2794 .2823 .2852 .2881 .2910 .2939 .2967 .2995 .3023 .3051 .3078 .3106 .3133 .3159 .3186 .3212 .3238 .3264 .3289 .3315 .3340 .3365 .3389
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2003 Thomson/South-Western

Example: Pep Zone

Standard Normal Probability Distribution If the manager of Pep Zone wants the probability of a stockout to be no more than .05, what should the reorder point be?

Area = .05 Area = .5 Area = .45 z.05 0 Let z.05 represent the z value cutting the .05 tail area.
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Example: Pep Zone

Using the Standard Normal Probability Table We now look-up the .4500 area in the Standard Normal Probability table to find the corresponding z.05 value.
z . .00 . .01 . .02 . .03 . .04 . .05 . .06 . .07 . .08 . .09 .

1.5 .4332 .4345 .4357 .4370 .4382 .4394 .4406 .4418 .4429 .4441 1.6 .4452 .4463 .4474 .4484 .4495 .4505 .4515 .4525 .4535 .4545 1.7 .4554 .4564 .4573 .4582 .4591 .4599 .4608 .4616 .4625 .4633 1.8 .4641 .4649 .4656 .4664 .4671 .4678 .4686 .4693 .4699 .4706 1.9 .4713 .4719 .4726 .4732 .4738 .4744 .4750 .4756 .4761 .4767 . . . . . . . . . . .

z.05 = 1.645 is a reasonable estimate.


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Example: Pep Zone

Standard Normal Probability Distribution The corresponding value of x is given by x = + z.05 = 15 + 1.645(6) = 24.87 A reorder point of 24.87 gallons will place the probability of a stockout during leadtime at .05. Perhaps Pep Zone should set the reorder point at 25 gallons to keep the probability under .05.

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Exponential Probability Distribution


The exponential probability distribution is useful in describing the time it takes to complete a task. The exponential random variables can be used to describe: Time between vehicle arrivals at a toll booth Time required to complete a questionnaire Distance between major defects in a highway

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Exponential Probability Distribution

Exponential Probability Density Function

f ( x)

e x / for x > 0, > 0

where:

= mean
e = 2.71828

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Exponential Probability Distribution

Cumulative Exponential Distribution Function

P ( x x0 ) 1 e xo /
where: x0 = some specific value of x

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Example: Als Carwash

Exponential Probability Distribution The time between arrivals of cars at Als Carwash follows an exponential probability distribution with a mean time between arrivals of 3 minutes. Al would like to know the probability that the time between two successive arrivals will be 2 minutes or less. P(x < 2) = 1 - 2.71828-2/3 = 1 - .5134 = .4866

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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Example: Als Carwash

Graph of the Probability Density Function

f(x) .4
.3 .2 P(x < 2) = area = .4866

.1
x 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Time Between Successive Arrivals (mins.)

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Relationship between the Poisson and Exponential Distributions


(If) the Poisson distribution provides an appropriate description of the number of occurrences per interval

(If) the exponential distribution provides an appropriate description of the length of the interval between occurrences
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End of Chapter 6

2003 Thomson/South-Western

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