1. ## 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

2. Originally Posted by billa
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

3. 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.