In most experiments we are interested either in counts of the numbers of times various events occur, or in measurements of quantities such as time, weight, density, etc. Counts and measurements are represented in mathematical probability theory by discrete and continuous random variables, or variates. A variate X is a quantity which is capable of taking on various real values according to chance. A discrete variate has only finitely many or at most countably many possible values. A continuous variate can assume any real value in an interval. In the discrete case, probabilities are found by summing the probability function of X. In the continuous case (to be considered in Chapter 6), probabilities are found by integrating the probability density function of X.
KeywordsPoisson Distribution Probability Function Binomial Distribution Discrete Variate Sample Space
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