Probability and Statistics. June 4, 2009 Dr. Lisa Green. Goals. Main goal: Understand the difference between probability and statistics. Also will see: Binomial Model Law of Large Numbers Monte Carlo Simulation Confidence Intervals. Probability vs. Statistics. Probability. Model.
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Probability and Statistics
June 4, 2009
Dr. Lisa Green
Model: An idealized version of how the world works.
Data: Collected observations.
Probability: The model is known, and we use this knowledge to describe what the data will look like.
Statistics: The model is (partially) unknown, and we use the data to make conclusions about the model.
There are repeated trials, each of which has only two outcomes. (Success or Failure)
The trials are independent of each other.
The number of trials (n) is known.
The probability of success on each trial (p) is constant.
Flip a coin 10 times, count the number of heads seen. n=10, p=0.50
Test 100 newly manufactured widgets, count the number that fail to work. n=100, p=?
Give a blood test to 35 volunteers, count the number with high cholesterol. n=35, p=?
We know that the probability of success is π/4.
If we repeat this trial n times, we have a binomial experiment.
If n=100, we expect between 71 and 86 of the trials to end up successes. (95% of the time)
7851438/10000000 * 4 = 3.1406 and 7856526/10000000 * 4 = 3.1426
This is the law of large numbers in action.
If we didn’t already know the value of pi, and we had a lot of time, we could use this to estimate pi. Using random processes to estimate constant numbers is called Monte Carlo Simulation.
A simulation of this is at http://polymer.bu.edu/java/java/montepi/montepiapplet.html
We knew the model.
We knew the values of all constants.
We used that knowledge to make predictions about what was going to happen.
Ask a randomly chosen person whether they know anyone affected by layoffs at GM.
If the response is yes, count this as a success. If not, count it as a failure.
What is the probability of a success?
Note: There are obviously logistical difficulties in asking a million people a question.
Confidence intervals have confidence levels. The ones above are at the 95% confidence level. Here is an applet that lets you explore what the confidence level means: http://www.rossmanchance.com/applets/Confsim/Confsim.html
We knew the model, but not the value of all constants.
We used observed data to tell us something about the model (the unknown constant).
Buffon’s Needle http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/reese/buffon/buffon.html
Reese’s Pieces Applet http://www.rossmanchance.com/applets/Reeses/ReesesPieces.html