2._Tree_Diagrams

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Stats and Probability 2. Tree Diagrams

2. Tree Diagrams:

2. Tree Diagrams What are Tree Diagrams, and when do you use them? Tree Diagrams are a very powerful tool in probability They are a very convenient way of representing a whole load of complicated information , which then allows you to answer some big mark questions without too much trouble. You tend to use tree diagrams to answer questions where there is more than one experiment going on at once, and the outcomes are not all equally likely BONUS: Tree Diagrams can be used to answer questions involving both independent and non-independent events . The Two Absolutely Crucial Rules of Tree Diagrams 1. We MULTIPLY probabilities going ACROSS 2. We ADD probabilities going DOWN NOTE: And a really good way to check you have down everything right is to add up all the probabilities are the end of your branches … because you know that the sum of the probabilities of all outcomes must add up to 1 ! x +

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Example 1 Sarah is bored – very bored - so she puts twelve coloured cubes in a bag. Five of the cubes are red and 7 are blue . She decides it would be fun to remove a cube at random from the bag and note the colour before replacing it . For even more fun she then chooses a second cube at random. What is the probability she pulls out two beads of the same colour ? Okay, so what are the things we should be thinking about when we knock up a tree diagram?... 1. What are our two experiments so we can spilt up our tree diagram?... Well, what about Sarah’s “ first pick ” and then “ second pick ”? 2. Do we know what the probability of picking a red cube is?... Well, there are 12 cubes in the bag, and 5 of them are red, so… 3. How about a blue cube ?... Again, 7 blues out of the 12 in the bag, so… 4. On our second pick, do our probabilities change ?... Well, there is a crucial little phrase hidden in the question: “ replacing it ”. Because Sarah pops the bead back into the bag after each pick, whatever she gets on her first pick has no effect whatsoever on what she gets on here second , so the probabilities remain the same . If you want to be really fancy about this (and why not!), you could say that because Sarah replaces the cubes, the events are INDEPENDENT of each other!

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x + Check: Our probabilities add up to 1 , so it’s looking good! Question: What is the probability she gets two beads of the same colour?... Well, the end of which braches give us that? Note: I wouldn’t bother simplifying my fractions here, as it makes the adding up easier when they have the same denominator ! Now we can simplify

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Example 2 For many years, Hannah and George have been locked in some pretty heated games of Scrabble and Monopoly . The probability that Hannah wins at Scrabble is 0.7 , and the probability that George wins at Monopoly is 0.65 . One rainy day they sit down for another fierce battle. What is the probability George wins both games? Okay, before we start, let’s make sure we know what’s going on here... 1. What are our two experiments so we can spilt up our tree diagram?... Well, what about “ Scrabble ” and then “ Monopoly ”? 2. We know the probability Hannah wins at Scrabble is 0.7 , but what about George ?... Well, either one wins, or the other (we assume no draws), so the two probabilities must add up to 1 So… 3. And how about Hannah winning at Monopoly?... It’s a similar sort of thing… 4. On the second game, do our probabilities change ?... Well, because the question does not say so, we must assume that the probabilities stay the same , and the results in Scrabble and Monopoly are INDEPENDENT . You might argue that if Hannah wins at Scrabble, then George will be more determined to stuff her friend at Monopoly, but the question is trying to make life easy for us, so let’s let it!

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x + Check: Our probabilities add up to 1 , so it’s looking good! Question: What is the probability George wins both games? Well, we just follow the bottom branch…

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Example 3 Sarah is bored again, so it’s back to the bag of beads! However, this time she really decides to spice things up. She still has 12 beads , but this time there are 5 red , 6 blue and 1 green. Crazier still, when she picks one out this time, she decides not to put it back ! What is the probability that after two picks, Sarah has two beads that are the same colour ? Okay, this is a bit of a tricky one, so let’s try and get our heads around what is going on... 1. What are our two experiments so we can spilt up our tree diagram?... Well, I reckon it must be “ first pick ” and then “ second pick ”? 2. The probabilities on the first pick should be easy enough: 3. It’s on the second pick that things start getting tricky. Say Sarah picks a red out first , what is the probability of her picking a red out second ?... Well, there are now only 4 reds in the bag, and there are only 11 beads as well! Whenever things are not replaced , you have to think very carefully about the probabilities on your branches! 4. On the second pick, do our probabilities change ?... In short, no they don’t! Again, there is a crucial phrase: “ not to put it back ”. This means that whatever happens on the first pick DOES affect the probabilities on the second pick , so these events are… DEPENDENT !

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x + Check: Our probabilities add up to 1 , so it’s looking good! Note: a probability of zero here makes sense as there is only 1 green! Question: What is the probability she gets two beads of the same colour?...

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Thinking like a Tree Diagram Sometimes you can answer a question by picturing a tree diagram in your head and imagining the branches , without actually drawing one. This might just save you some precious minutes in an exam… Example 4 The probability I somehow find the energy to go to the gym on Monday is 0.3 . If a miracle happens and I do go to the gym on Monday , the probability I go again on Tuesday falls to 0.1 . If I don’t go on Monday, the probability remains the same . What is the probability that: (a) I go to the gym on both days (b) I go to the gym on just one day? (a) Right, let’s think about this… I need to go on both days … well the probability I go to the gym on Monday is 0.3 … and if I go on Monday, the probability I also go on Tuesday falls to 0.1 … so to find the probability I go on both days I would travel along both branches of my tree diagram , so I must MULTIPLY ! (b) This is a bit trickier… I only go to the gym on one day … how could that happen?... Well, I could go on Monday , and then not go on Tuesday … OR I could give Monday a miss , and then go Tuesday !... So what would be the probabilities of those?... And these would be the ends of the branches , so to get the probability of either happening, I need to ADD :

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Good luck with your revision!