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Mass Functions

2.1 Discrete Probability Distributions and Mass Functions

Discrete Probability Distributions

  • The probability distribution for a discrete random variable is a description all the possible values of the random variable, and its corresponding probability.
  • Since it is discrete (means there is supposedly/usually a finite number of outcomes), we can express the probability distribution in a table.
  • We can describe the probability distribution with the function


where X is the random variable and x is the corresponding values.

  • The function above is called a discrete probability function or a probability mass function (pmf).
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