Questions on using, finding, or otherwise relating to probability distributions, pdfs, cdfs, or the like.

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41
votes
9answers
6k views

What do $\pi$ and $e$ stand for in the normal distribution formula?

I'm a very beginner in mathematics and there is one thing I've been wondering recently. The formula for the normal distribution is: ...
29
votes
4answers
32k views

Probability density function vs. probability mass function

I've an confession to make. I've been using pdf's and pmf's without actually knowing what they are. The idea that I've been having so long is that density = area under the curve but if I look at it ...
28
votes
1answer
551 views

Zombie outbreak on a $k$-regular graph

Suppose we have a zombie outbreak on a connected $k$-regular graph of order $n$. There are $n_0$ initially infected zombie nodes, and each turn, each zombie infects its neighbors with probability ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a uniform distribution over the real line?

For every interval $[a,b]$, there exists a uniform probability density over this interval, which is the constant function $f(x)=\frac{1}{|a-b|}$ for $a < x < b$, and $f(x)=0$ for all other $x$. ...
18
votes
2answers
397 views

Angular distribution of lines passing through two squares.

Let's say I've got two squares with side length $d$ that are held parallel at a distance $m$ apart. Suppose that particles are randomly falling from above in such a way that the polar angle ...
16
votes
3answers
19k views

How can a probability density be greater than one and integrate to one

Wikipedia says: The probability density function is nonnegative everywhere, and its integral over the entire space is equal to one. and it also says. Unlike a probability, a probability ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

Expectation of the min of two independent random variables?

How do you compute the minimum of two independent random variables in the general case ? In the particular case there would be two uniforms variables with difference support, how should one proceed ? ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

There are 10 men, 10 women, and 10 rooms. Each person randomly goes into a room.

What is the expected number of rooms with at least one man and woman? Our prof. gave us the following solution however, I'm confused about the probability portion of the answer (especially the ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How was the normal distribution derived?

Abraham de Moivre, when he came up with this formula, had to assure that the points of inflection were exactly one standard deviation away from the center, and so that it was bell-shaped, as well as ...
15
votes
1answer
263 views

What is the distribution of this random series?

Let $\xi_n$ be iid and uniformly distributed on the three numbers $\{-1,0,1\}$. Set $$X = \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{\xi_n}{2^n}.$$ It is clear that the sum converges (surely) and the limit has $-1 \le ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

Expectation of the maximum of IID geometric random variables

Given $n$ independent geometric random variables $X_n$, each with probability parameter $p$ (and thus expectation $E\left(X_n\right) = \frac{1}{p}$), what is $$E_n = E\left(\max_{i \in 1 .. ...
14
votes
2answers
307 views

How does one prove $\int_0^\infty \prod_{k=1}^\infty \operatorname{\rm sinc}\left( \frac{t}{2^{k+1}} \right) \mathrm{d} t = 2 \pi$

Looking into the distribution of a Fabius random variable: $$ X := \sum_{k=1}^\infty 2^{-k} u_k $$ where $u_k$ are i.i.d. uniform variables on a unit interval, I encountered the following ...
14
votes
0answers
363 views

Integrate this monster

Can you please help me? I've been trying for some time now to integrate this: $$\int_0^\infty g^{-(a+1)} \; \exp\left\{-\left(\frac{b}{g} + \frac{1}{2} \sum_{i=1}^{n} ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How to deduce the CDF of $W=I^2R$ from the PDFs of $I$ and $R$ independent

Given pdf of $I$ and $R$ (both $I$ and $R$ are independent RV's), how to find cdf of $W =I^2R$? Where, $$ \begin{align} f_I(i)&=6i(1-i), &0 \leq i \leq 1 \\ f_R(r)&=2r, &0 \leq ...
13
votes
3answers
803 views

very elementary proof of Maxwell's theorem

Maxwell's theorem (after James Clerk Maxwell) says that if a function $f(x_1,\ldots,x_n)$ of $n$ real variables is a product $f_1(x_1)\cdots f_n(x_n)$ and is rotation-invariant in the sense that the ...
13
votes
1answer
271 views

Help with a Bollobás proof - Switching between random graph models

I'm trying to make my way through Bollobás' book 'Models of Random Graphs', and unfortunately I've come entirely unstuck on one of his typical 2-line "and of course, this is entirely trivial"-style ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

Expected Value of a Binomial distribution?

If $\mathrm P(X=k)=\binom nkp^k(1-p)^{n-k}$ for a binomial distribution, then from the definition of the expected value $$\mathrm E(X) = \sum^n_{k=0}k\mathrm P(X=k)=\sum^n_{k=0}k\binom ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

Proof of upper-tail inequality for standard normal distribution

$X \sim \mathcal{N}(0,1)$, then to show that for $x > 0$, $$ \mathbb{P}(X>x) \leq \frac{\exp(-x^2/2)}{x \sqrt{2 \pi}} \>. $$
12
votes
3answers
472 views

Are polynomials dense in Gaussian Sobolev space?

Let $\mu$ be standard Gaussian measure on $\mathbb{R}^n$, i.e. $d\mu = (2\pi)^{-n/2} e^{-|x|^2/2} dx$, and define the Gaussian Sobolev space $H^1(\mu)$ to be the completion of ...
12
votes
3answers
589 views

Formula for picking time closest to (but after) target

Let's say you have an arbitrary length of time. You are playing a game in which you want to push a button during this time span after a light comes on. If you do so, you win ($+1$), if not, you lose ...
12
votes
1answer
183 views

About the “Cantor volume” of the $n$-dimensional unit ball

A simple derivation for the Lebesgue measure of the euclidean unit ball in $\mathbb{R}^n$ follows from computing $$ \int_{\mathbb{R}^n}e^{-\|x\|^2}\,dx $$ in two different ways. See, for instance, ...
11
votes
5answers
16k views

Poisson Distribution of sum of two random independent variables $X$, $Y$

$X \sim \mathcal{P}( \lambda) $ and $Y \sim \mathcal{P}( \mu)$ meaning that $X$ and $Y$ are Poisson distributions. What is the probability distribution law of $X + Y$. I know it is $X+Y \sim ...
11
votes
3answers
782 views

Random point uniform on a sphere

If $X=(x,y,z)$ is a random point uniform on the unit sphere in $\mathbb{R}^3$, Are the coordinates $x$, $y$, $z$ uniform in interval $(-1,1)$?
11
votes
3answers
694 views

Is There a Continuous Analogue of the Hypergeometric Distribution?

As the title states, is there a continuous analogue of a Hypergeometric distribution? If $ X \sim H(m,n,N)$ is a common Hypergeometric distribution, where $N$ is the population size, $n$ is the ...
11
votes
1answer
5k views

Characteristic function of a standard normal random variable

The characteristic function of a random variable X is given by $$\Phi_X(\omega) = \mathbb{E}e^{j\omega X}=\int_{-\infty}^\infty e^{j\omega x}f_X(x) dx.$$ One can easily capture the similarity between ...
11
votes
1answer
82 views

Distribution of $\sum\limits_{i=1}^{N}X_{i}$ conditionally on $\sum\limits_{i=1}^{N}X_{i}^{2}$ for i.i.d. standard normal $X_i$s

Assume that the random variables $X_{i}$ are i.i.d $\mathcal{N}\left(0,1\right)$, then: $$S_N=\sum_{i=1}^{N}X_{i}\sim\mathcal{N}\left(0,N\right)\qquad\qquad ...
11
votes
1answer
812 views

Probability density function of the integral of a continuous stochastic process

I am interested in whether there is a general method to calculate the pdf of the integral of a stochastic process that is continuous in time. My specific example: I am studying a stochastic given ...
10
votes
1answer
404 views

M.SE reputation distribution

What distribution does the reputation points per user follow on math.SE (or on entire stackexchange)? Is there a mathematical explanation/model of it?
10
votes
3answers
760 views

A very challenging probability question

In a certain 2-player game, the winner is determined by rolling a single 6-sided die in turn, until a 6 is shown, at which point the game ends immediately. Now, suppose that k dice are now rolled ...
10
votes
2answers
370 views

Does variance do any good to gambling game makers?

People always like to evaluate the variance, but is there any way for variance to be interesting to the gambling game makers? In another word, what is a pratical gambling game that involving some ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Sum of independent Binomial random variables with different probabilities?

suppose I have independent random variables $X_i$ which are distributed binomially via $$X_i \sim \mathrm{Bin}(n_i, p_i)$$. Are there relatively simple formulae or at least bounds for the ...
10
votes
1answer
333 views

Distribution for random harmonic series

Consider random variable $X$ formed by the following infinite series: $X = \pm 1 \pm \frac{1}{2} \pm \frac{1}{3} \pm ... \frac{1}{n} ...$, where $+$ or $-$ sign for every summand is chosen ...
10
votes
4answers
566 views

Probability of global epidemic

Consider $\mathbb{Z}^2$ as a graph, where each node has four neighbours. 4 signals are emitted from $(0,0)$ in each of four directions (1 per direction) . A node that receives one signal (or more) at ...
10
votes
2answers
290 views

Problem about partial sum of exponential random variable

Let $X_1, X_2, \dots,X_n, X_{n+1}$ be independent random variable of exponential distribution, and the mean is 1. Let $S_i = X_1 + \dots + X_i$ I want to know ...
10
votes
3answers
186 views

Distribution and second order differential inequality

I would like to solve the following $2^{\mathrm{nd}}$ order differential inequality $$ \theta_F'(x) = \frac{2F'(x)^2 - F(x)F''(x) + F''(x)}{F'(x)^2} < 0 $$ for some subinterval $I \subset ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

The partial expectation $\mathbb{E}(X;_{X>K})$ for an alpha-stable distributed random variable

The partial expectation $\mathbb{E}(X;_{X>K})$ for an alpha-stable distributed random variable: By playing with convolutions of Characteristic Functions of alpha-Stable distributions $S(\alpha, ...
10
votes
1answer
566 views

How do you compute numerically the Earth mover's distance (EMD)?

I was trying to compute numerically (write a program) that calculated the EMD for two probability distribution $p_X$ and $q_X$. However, I had a hard time finding an outline of how to exactly compute ...
9
votes
5answers
562 views

Successful approaches to the modelization of ''randomness''

If you pick a number $x$ randomly from $[0,100]$, we would naturally say that the probability of $x>50$ is $1/2$, right? This is because we assumed that randomly meant that the experiment was to ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

covariance of Gaussian Mixtures

I have a Gaussian mixture model, given by: $$ x \sim \sum_{i = 1}^M \alpha_i N(\mu_i, C_i) $$ Is there a way I can compute the overall covariance matrix if $x$? I would like to say "$x$ has a ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Integral of Brownian motion is Gaussian?

Let $(W_t)$ be a standard Brownian motion, so that $W_t \sim N(0,t)$. I'm trying to show that the random variable defined by $Z_t = \int_0^t W_s \ ds$ is a Gaussian random variable, but have not ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Formal definition of conditional probability

It would be extremely helpful if anyone gives me the formal definition of conditional probability and expectation in the following setting, given probability space $ (\Omega, \mathscr{A}, \mu ) $ ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Distribution of the digits of Pi

Can anything be stated about the distribution of the digits of Pi, i.e., if I were to sample n digits of Pi, can anything be said about the probability to observe certain digits, or is there any ...
9
votes
1answer
11k views

comparing distribution of two data sets

I need to compare the distribution (unknown) of a set of data to the distribution of another one (unknown). In particular, I want to check for equality of the two distributions. What are some ...
9
votes
1answer
128 views

Math Intuition and Natural Motivation Behind t-Student Distribution

I am trying to understand with basic mathematical background how the $t$-Student distribution is a "natural" $pdf$ to define. So I hope that this not too-general a question, but given that the ...
9
votes
1answer
212 views

$P(x,n) = \frac{x(n-1)!}{n^{x}(n-x)! }$ — What is the name of this probability distribution?

$$ P(x,n) = \frac{x(n-1)!}{n^{x}(n-x)! } $$ I'm having a really tough time describing what this distribution does, but it's simple in code. So if you know code, then read on: ...
9
votes
1answer
151 views

Is Entropy = Information circular or trivial?

I have seen several "maximum entropy distributions" used in the mathematical and statistical literature, often with the justification that they are "minimally informed" beyond the assumptions and data ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Probability distribution for distances between randomly selected integers within an interval

Suppose I pick 'N' integers over an interval [A, B] without replacement. As a function of 'N' and the interval length, what distribution / average values should I expect for the distances between ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

Inequality for $N(0,1)$ CDF: $|\log F(v)|\leq |\log F(0)|+|v|+|v|^2$

Suppose that $F$ is the CDF of a standard normal distribution. Hayashi (2000) claims that the following is true $$ |\log F(v)|\leq |\log F(0)|+|v|+|v|^2\quad\text{for all}\quad v. $$ How does ...
9
votes
1answer
593 views

Volume of the intersection of ellipsoids

How do I compute the volume of the intersection of two $n$-dimensional ellipsoids? Given an $n$-vector $c$ and a symmetric positive-definite $n\times n$ matrix $A$, define the ellipsoid ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Proof of $\frac{(n-1)S^2}{\sigma^2} \backsim \chi^2_{n-1}$

It's a standard result that given $X_1,\cdots ,X_n $ random sample from $N(\mu,\sigma^2)$, the random variable $$\frac{(n-1)S^2}{\sigma^2}$$ has a chi-square distribution with $(n-1)$ degrees of ...