Part 1: Background
Parts 1 and 2 of this homework assignment were copied and slightly modied from pages 143 - 146 of Prob-
ability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, 8th edition, by Walpole, Myers, Myers, and Ye, Pearson
Prentice Hall, 2007.
An experiment often consists of repeated trials, each with two possible outcomes that may be labeled
success or failure. The most obvious application deals with the testing of items as they come o an
assembly line, where each test or trial may indicate a defective or a nondefective item. We may choose to
dene either outcome as a success. The process is referred to as a Bernoulli process. Each trial is called
a Bernoulli trial.
Strictly speaking, the Bernoulli process must possess the following properties:
1. The experiment consists of n repeated trials.
2. Each trial results in an outcome that may be classied as a success or a failure.
3. The probability of success, denoted by p, remains constant from trial to trial.
4. The repeated trials are independent.
Consider the set of Bernoulli trials where three items are selected at random from a manufacturing process,
inspected, and classied as defective or nondefective. A defective item is designated a success. The number
of successes in an arbitrary trial is a random variable X assuming integer values zero through 3, where x = 0
means no defects and x = 3 means 3 defects. Let D denote defective and N denote nondefective. The eight
possible outcomes and the corresponding values of X are
Assuming the defective probability rate is 25% (i.e. P(D)=0.25 or P(D) = 1
4 ) and the non-defective
probability rate is then P(N)= 1 - P(D) = 0.75, or P(N)=3
4 , then the probability of each outcome will be
determined by the product of the probability of the individual trials. For example, the probability of having
the rst item nondefective, the second item defective, and the third item nondefective is given by:
P(NDN) = P(N)P(D)P(N) =
Similar calculations yield the probabilities for the other possible outcomes. colorWe can now construct what
is known as a probability distribution of variable, X. The probability distribution of X is therefore
x 0 1 2 3
1EPS2: Homework 2 Due Friday, September 18, 2015, 5:00 p.m.
The number X of successes in n Bernoulli trials is called a binomial random variable. The probability
distribution of this discrete random variable is called the binomial distribution, and its values will be
denoted by b(x; n; p) since they depend on the number of trials and the probability of a success on a given
trial (the number of trials in the above example is 3 and the probability of success, or nding a defect, for
each trial is 1
4 ). Thus, given the probability distribution on X for the above example, the probability of a
given X is
P(X = 0) = f(0) = b
P(X = 1) = f(1) = b
P(X = 2) = f(2) = b
P(X = 3) = f(3) = b
A Bernoulli trial can result in a success with probability p and a failure with probability q = 1