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Chapter 4

Probability
4.1

Learning activity A4.1


Question:
When throwing a die,
S = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6},

E = {3, 4},

and

F = {4, 5, 6}.

Give:
a) Fc ;
c) (E F)c ;

b) Ec Fc ;
d) Ec F.

Solution:
S = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6} E = {3, 4} F = {4, 5, 6}.
a) Fc means the elements not in F. They are 1, 2 and 3.
b) Ec Fc means the elements not in E and not in F. The elements
not in E are 1, 2, 5 and 6. So only 1 and 2 are not in E and F.
c) (E F)c means elements which are neither in E nor F (E F), so
the elements in E or F or both are 3, 4, 5 and 6. So once again the
answer is 1 and 2.
d) Ec F are the elements not in E and in F. Ec elements are 1, 2, 5
and 6 and F elements are 4, 5, and 6, so the answer is 5 and 6.

4.2

Learning activity A4.2


Question:
Supplier
Jones
Smith
Robinson
Total

Early
20
10
0
30

Delivery time
On time Late
20
10
90
50
10
90
120
150

Total
50
150
100
300

What are the probabilities associated with a delivery chosen at


random for each of the following?

Statistics 1 Solutions to learning activities

a) Being an early delivery.


b) Being a delivery from Smith.
c) Being both from Jones and late.
Solution:
a) Of the total equally likely outcomes (300), there are 30 that are
30
= 0.1.
early. Hence required probability is 300
b) Again, of the total equally likely outcomes (300), there are 150
from Smith. Hence required probability is 150
300 = 0.5.
c) Now, of the 300, there are only 10 that are late and from Jones.
10
Hence the probability is 300
(or 0.033).


4.3

Learning activity A4.3


Question:
Draw the appropriate Venn diagram to show each of the following in
connection with learning activity A4.1:
a) E F = {3, 4, 5, 6}
b) E F = {4}
c) Ec = {1, 2, 5, 6}.

Solution:

Here is the diagram (not to scale).


a) E F is shown by the total area enclosed by both circles.
b) E F is the intersection of the two circles.
c) E is the area completely outside the circle which encloses 3 and 4.


CHAPTER 4. PROBABILITY

4.4

Learning activity A4.4


Question:
There are three sites a company may move to: A, B and C. We are
told that P(A) (the probability of a move to A) is 12 , and P(B) = 31 .
What is P(C)? (Use the information given in the section under
axioms of probability.)

Solution:
P(A) + P(B) + P(C) = 1. Therefore P(C) = 1

1
2

= 61 .

1
3

and

1
3

4.5

Learning activity A4.5


Question:
Two events A and B are independent with probability
respectively. What is P(A B)?

1
4

Solution:
If they are independent:
P(A B) = P(A) P(B)
1 1
=

3 4
1
.
=
12


4.6

Learning activity A4.6


Question:
A company gets 60% of its supply from manufacturer A, the
remainder from manufacturer Z. The quality of the parts delivered is
given below:

Manufacturer
A
Z

% Good Parts
97
93

% Bad Parts
3
7

a) The probabilities of receiving good or bad parts can be


represented by a probability tree. Show for example that the
probability that a randomly chosen part comes from A and is bad is
0.018.

Statistics 1 Solutions to learning activities

b) Also show that the sum of the probabilities of all outcomes is 1.


c) The way the tree is used depends on the information required.
For example, show that the tree can be used to show that the
probability of receiving a bad part is 0.028 + 0.018 = 0.046.

Solution:
Note that the percentage of good and bad parts total to 100!
a) The probability that a randomly chosen part comes from A is 0.6
(60%), the probability that one of As parts is bad is 0.03 (3%), so
the probability that a randomly chosen part comes from A and is
bad is 0.6 0.03 = 0.018.
b) Add all the outcomes. They are:
(0.60.97)+(0.60.03)+(0.40.93)+(0.40.07) = 0.582+0.018+0.372+0.028 = 1.
c) The probability of receiving a bad part is the probability of either
receiving a bad part from A or from B, i.e.:
(0.6 0.03) + (0.4 0.07) = 0.018 + 0.028 = 0.046.


4.7

Learning activity A4.7


Question:
(Using set theory and laws of probability or a probability tree)
A company has a security system comprising four electronic devices
(A, B, C and D) which operate independently. Each device has a
probability of 0.1 of failure. The four electronic devices are
arranged so that the whole system operates if at least one of A or B
functions and at least one of C or D functions.
Show that the probability that the whole system functions properly
is 0.9801.

Solution:
Here we have:
Probabilities
Not fail Fail
0.9
0.1
0.9
0.1
0.9
0.1
0.9
0.1

Device
A
B
C
D

The system fails if both A and B fail (or more) or both C and D fail
(or more).

CHAPTER 4. PROBABILITY

To work out the probability that the system works properly, first
work out the probability it will fail, P(F). The probability it will
work is P(Fc ).
The system fails if:
A, B, C and D all fail = (0.1)4 = 0.0001
or ABC, ABD, ACD or BCD fail = (0.1)3 0.9 4 = 0.0036
or A and B fail and C & D are OK = 0.1 0.1 0.9 0.9 = 0.0081
or C and D fail and A & B are OK = 0.1 0.1 0.9 0.9 = 0.0081.
So the total probability that the system will fail is
0.0001 + 0.0036 + 0.0162 = 0.0199, which makes the probability it
will run smoothly 1 0.0199 = 0.9801.

Solutions prepared by Dr James Abdey.