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Common Discrete Probability Distribution Functions

Module by: Susan Dean, Barbara Illowsky, Ph.D.. E-mail the authors

Summary: This module serves as a lead-in for several types of common discrete probability distribution functions, including binomial, geometric, hypergeometric, and Poisson.

Some of the more common discrete probability functions are binomial, geometric, hypergeometric, and Poisson. Most elementary courses do not cover the geometric, hypergeometric, and Poisson. Your instructor will let you know if he or she wishes to cover these distributions.

A probability distribution function is a pattern. You try to fit a probability problem into a pattern or distribution in order to perform the necessary calculations. These distributions are tools to make solving probability problems easier. Each distribution has its own special characteristics. Learning the characteristics enables you to distinguish among the different distributions.

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