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Math Help - Non-homework Statistics Problem

  1. #1
    Member billa's Avatar
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    Non-homework Statistics Problem

    Say there is some magic number machine that gives somewhat random values (I at least think they are random, but I have no idea how this machine works) every second based on several variables that I know (say a,b,c,d).

    From what I know about this machine, from watching it, it seems that the number is usually 0, and when it isn't 0 it is a positive whole number from 1 to around 60.

    I would like to determine with some degree of certainty some information about the output of the machine. That is, I would like to know the relationship between the variables I put into the machine (a,b,c,d) and some descriptions of the output( frequency of nonzero values, the mean of the nonzero values, and ANYTHING else that I can find that might be useful like standard deviation etc.?).

    So my two problems are as follows. First, I can get any sample size from this machine (the lower the better tho), but how do I find a good sample size?

    2nd, can anyone suggest a method for determining how a,b,c,d affect the output.


    Finally, I am ok at math (taken up to multi-variable calc.) and if you can't help with the above problem, but you know a link or a good book where I can learn this stuff myself, that would be just as helpful.

    Also, this is NOT a homework problem, meaning any solution/method that works decently well, no matter how unconventional, will be fine.

    O and... I can either write a program to do these calculations, or I can download one if you know a good one.

    THANKS FOR ANY HELP
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  2. #2
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Quote Originally Posted by billa View Post
    Say there is some magic number machine that gives somewhat random values (I at least think they are random, but I have no idea how this machine works) every second based on several variables that I know (say a,b,c,d).

    From what I know about this machine, from watching it, it seems that the number is usually 0, and when it isn't 0 it is a positive whole number from 1 to around 60.

    I would like to determine with some degree of certainty some information about the output of the machine. That is, I would like to know the relationship between the variables I put into the machine (a,b,c,d) and some descriptions of the output( frequency of nonzero values, the mean of the nonzero values, and ANYTHING else that I can find that might be useful like standard deviation etc.?).

    So my two problems are as follows. First, I can get any sample size from this machine (the lower the better tho), but how do I find a good sample size?

    2nd, can anyone suggest a method for determining how a,b,c,d affect the output.


    Finally, I am ok at math (taken up to multi-variable calc.) and if you can't help with the above problem, but you know a link or a good book where I can learn this stuff myself, that would be just as helpful.

    Also, this is NOT a homework problem, meaning any solution/method that works decently well, no matter how unconventional, will be fine.

    O and... I can either write a program to do these calculations, or I can download one if you know a good one.

    THANKS FOR ANY HELP
    I think that the question is too vague, you must know more than that. What are the restrictions if any on the inputs?

    CB
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  3. #3
    Member billa's Avatar
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    Ok, a,b,c,d are all between 0 and 200, and are also whole numbers.

    Say I set all the variables to certain values, and I wait 1000 seconds to get 1000 output values from this machine. I can then find the mean value of the output quite easily, but the mean that I find will not be the true mean of the output of the machine, since I only took 1000 samples. Can I estimate my certainty somehow?

    My plan is to do this, then change one of the variables and do the same test to see how the output changes.
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