# STAT 270 Probability Basics

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1 STAT 270 Probability Basics Richard Lockhart Simon Fraser University Spring 2015 Surrey 1/28

2 Purposes of These Notes Jargon: experiment, sample space, outcome, event. Set theory ideas and notation: intersection, union, complement. Venn Diagrams Empty event or empty set. Disjoint, mutually exclusive. de Morgan s laws. Axioms of probability, probabilty measure, countable additivity. Symmetry, counting methods. Long-run relative frequency. 2/28

3 Sample Spaces Informal idea: do random experiment. Outcome not certain beforehand. Sample space is list of all possible outcomes. Often idealized. Example: Toss coin 3 times, get H (heads) or T (tails) each time. Total of 8 possible outcomes in Sample Space. In the notation of set theory, sample space S is: S = {HHH,HHT,HTH,HTT,THH,THT,TTH,TTT} 3/28

4 More sample spaces Example: Hang a 2 kg weight from a piece of piano wire. Measure how much wire stretches. Repeat with 4 kg, 6Kg, 8kg, 10kg. Sample space is S = {(l 1,l 2,l 3,l 4,l 5 )} where the l i are supposed to be any possible measured stretch. If using ruler marked to nearest millimetre then each l i must be a multiple of 1 mm. Can the l i be negative? Sample space can be chosen for convenience. Likely to choose S = R 5. 4/28

5 Events Technically: subsets of S for which we can calculate probabilities. Example: 3 coin tosses. First toss is Heads: Even number of heads: E = {HHH,HHT,HTH,HTT} E = {HTH,HHT,THH,TTT} Example: piano wire (Hooke s law): Average is more than 10 mm: E = {(l 1,l 2,l 3,l 4,l 5 ) : l 1 +l 2 +l 3 +l 4 +l 5 > 50} 5/28

6 Set Notation Many probabilities will be calculated by breaking events up, putting events together, or working with opposites. Complement of event, A, is the event that A does not happen: Ā = {s S : s A}. Intersection: A, B events; event that both A and B happen: AB = A B = {s S : s A and s B}. Union: A, B events; event that at least one of A or B happens: A B = {s S : s A or s B}. Similarly for A 1 A n or A 1 A 2 A n. In words: A 1 A n = the event that at least one of A 1 to A p happens A 1 A 2 A n = all of the events A 1 to A p happen. Sometimes helpful to use Venn diagrams. 6/28

7 Venn Diagrams Richard will draw some Venn diagrams. 7/28

8 Empty set, disjoint events, mutually exclusive The empty set is. It has no elements. Always an event. Sometimes called null event. Two events, A and B are disjoint or mutually exclusive if AB =. A collection of events A 1,A 2,... is mutually exclusive or pairwise disjoint if, for each pair i j, we have A i A j =. Get Richard to draw De Morgan s laws: (A B) = A B and (A B) = A B 8/28

9 More Venn Diagrams Richard will draw more Venn Diagrams. 9/28

10 Some English No more than 1 head same as fewer than 2 heads same as less than or equal to 1 head same as not either 2 heads or 3 heads same as not at least two heads. All these are Question: Toss coin 4 times. {HTT,THT,TTH,TTT}. A is the event I get 3 heads. How many elements in A? (What is the cardinality of A?) 10/28

11 Probability Each event A has a probability P(A). Axioms of probability: Academician Kolmogorov, Probabilities are real numbers and can t be negative: AP(A) 0. Events made by putting together mutually exclusive events have probabilities which add up: If i j we have A i A j = then P( i=1a i ) = P(A i ). i=1 Draw 3 mutually exclusive events in Venn Diagram to show importance of pairwise disjoint. P(S) = 1. 11/28

12 Venn Diagrams III Venn diagrams for mutually exclusive. 12/28

13 Consequences of axioms P(A)+P(A ) = P(A A ) = P(S = 1. So often use P(A) = 1 P(A ). P(A B) = P(A)+P(B) P(AB). P(A B C) = P(A)+P(B)+P(C) P(AB) P(AC) P(BC)+P(ABC). If I did A B C D how many terms? What would last term be? 13/28

14 Where do probabilities come from? Counting for equally likely outcomes. Roll fair die. 6 sides. Each side has chance 1/6 (on one roll). Toss coin 2 outcomes chance 1/2 each. Toss coin 3 times. 8 outcomes. All equally likely, chance 1/8. Same experiment. E is event first and third tosses heads. So E = {HHH,HTH}. So P(E) = 2/8. 14/28

15 Long Run Relative Frequency Throw a pair of dice. Repeat many, many times. 36 outcomes each time. Look for the event: sum is ways: 6,4; 5,5; 4,6. Chance is 3/36. Look at first n tosses. Number of 10s is frequency of 10 in first n tosses. Relative frequency is Frequency divided by n. Long run relative frequency is P(10) = 3 36 = lim n number of 10s in first n trials. n Both definition and theorem: Law of Large Numbers. 15/28

16 Subjective Probability, Bayesian Other views of probability. Subjective = degree of belief. Apply probabilities to events like Speed of sound less than 350 m/sec. Mass of text more than 300 g. Canucks win Stanley cup in Richard lives to be 80. School of thought originated by Reverend Thomas Bayes. Probabilities are different for different people for same event. 16/28

17 Conditional Probability If A and B are events and P(B) > 0 then the conditional probability of A given B is P(A B) = P(AB) P(B). Idea is fraction of times where A occurs among times where B occurs. So If P(A) > 0 also then P(AB) = P(A B)P(B) P(AB) = P(A B)P(B) = P(B A)P(A). 17/28

18 Independence Two events A and B are independent if P(AB) = P(A)P(B). If P(B) > 0 and A and B are independent then P(A B) = P(AB) P(B) = P(A)P(B) = P(A). P(B) Knowing B happened didn t change chance that A happens. If P(B) > 0 and P(A B) = P(A) then P(AB) = P(A B)P(B) = P(A)P(B) so A and B are independent. Three events A, B, and C are independent if P(AB) = P(A)P(B) P(AC) = P(A)P(C) P(BC) = P(B)P(C) P(ABC) = P(A)P(B)P(C) 18/28

19 An example Toss a fair coin twice. Let A be the event that the first toss is heads. Let B be the event that the second toss is heads. Let C be the event that the two tosses are different Then AB = {HH}, AC = {HT}, BC = {TH} and ABC =. And P(A) = P(B) = P(C) = 1/2 so P(AB) = P(A)P(B), P(AC) = P(A)P(C) but P(ABC) = 0 P(A)P(B)P(C). So A and B are independent and so are A and C and so are B and C but A, B, and C are not independent. 19/28

20 Roles of independence and conditioning Even more formulas for 4 events, etc. Ideas are used in several ways. We often model the behaviour of a system by thinking about how A influences B. If there is no way for occurrence of A to affect occurrence of B and vice versa we assume A and B are independent. Sometimes we go the other way: we prove A and B are independent by checking the definition. 20/28

21 Conditional Independence, language We often make more subtle assumptions like conditional independence : P(A BC) = P(A B) means A and C are conditionally independent given B because P(AC B) = P(A B)P(C B). A word about language. We sometimes say A is independent of B instead of A and B are independent. This sounds asymmetric but the idea is not. Sometimes we say A 1,...,A n are independent of each other which means the same as A 1,...,A n are independent. 21/28

22 Combinatoric coefficients Toss coin n times: 2 n outcomes. All have same chance: 1/2 n = 2 n. Chance of (exactly) k heads? Must count number of outcomes with k heads. Pick k places from n to put H in seq of k Hs and n k Ts. So ( ) n 1 P(exactly k heads in n tosses) = k 2 n. Other notations C n,k C k,n n C k = ( ) n. k Number of permutations of n objects is n!. Number of ways to order k of n objects is n! = n (n 1) (n k +1). (n k)! n choices for first in list, n 1 for second, etc. 22/28

23 Example 1 One hard example. Shuffle 52 card poker deck. Deal 5. Find Chance of 3 of a kind. 23/28

24 Example 2 I shuffle a deck of cards, take one off the top, put it aside. What is chance next one is ace of spades? 24/28

25 Screening Programs Imagine serious condition (HIV +ve, drug use, prostate cancer). Population prevalence is 1%. Have imperfect test. (All real tests are imperfect.) Test has sensitivity 90%: P(positive test result have condition) = 0.9. Test has very good specificity 99%. P(negative test result do not have condition) = Now suppose a random person takes the test and the result is positive. Does the person have the condition? Answer by computing P(have condition positive test result) 25/28

26 Screening numerical results Introduce notation. DON T SKIP THIS STEP. Let B be the event the selected person has the condition. Let A be the event the test result is positive. We are given P(B) = 0.01 P(A B) = 0.9 P(A B ) = 1 P(A B ) = = 0.01 So P(AB) = P(A B)P(B) = = And P(AB ) = P(A B )P(B ) = 0.01 (1 0.01) = So P(A) = P(AB)+P(AB ) = = We want P(B A). 26/28

27 Bayes Theorem So Example of general strategy. P(B A) = P(BA) P(A) = Use Bayes Theorem to switch order of conditions: P(B A) = P(AB) P(A) = P(A B)P(B) P(AB)+P(AB ) P(A B)P(B) = P(A B)P(B)+P(A B )P(B ) 27/28

28 Tree Diagram Version To be done by drawing tree in class. At top of tree two possibilities: have condition or not. Left branch is have condition with probability Right branch is do not have condition with probability Next layer has two branches at end of each top branch: left for test is positive, right for test is negative. Probabilities are, left to right, 0.9, 0.1, 0.01, 0.99 Four paths to bottom: have/pos, have/neg, no/pos, no/neg with probs 0.01*0.9, 0.01*0.1,0.99*0.01, 0.99*0.99 Nodes at bottom corresponding to test positive are first and third. Interested in probability of first branch given either first or third: ( )/( ) /28

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