1. ## Probability distribution question

Note: Sorry if this is considered a uni question, I'm not sure, so you'll have to tell me.

The question
A busy switchboard receives 150 calls an hour on average. Assume that the probability, $p_k$, of getting k calls in a given minute is:

$p_n = e^{-\lambda}\frac{\lambda^{k}}{k!}$

where $\lambda = s$ the average number of calls per minute.

a) Find the probability of getting exactly 3 calls in a given minute.
b) Find th probability of getting at least 2 calls in a given minute.

I'm not sure how to attempt this. I'm sure I'm missing something obvious, but there's no examples in this text to guide me. Any assistance would be great.

2. Originally Posted by Glitch
a) Find the probability of getting exactly 3 calls in a given minute.

$\displaystyle P(k=3) = e^{-150}\frac{150^{3}}{3!}$

Originally Posted by Glitch
b) Find th probability of getting at least 2 calls in a given minute.
$\displaystyle P(k\geq 2) = 1-P(k=1)-P(k=0) = 1-e^{-150}\frac{150^{1}}{1!}-e^{-150}\frac{150^{0}}{0!}$

Recall $0!=1$

3. Your answer to a) doesn't match the textbook solution of 0.214

Even by intuition (as bad as it tends to be for probability) it looks much too small.

I'm yet to find a solution myself. :/

4. Ok, reading it a second time, you 150 calls per hour, which is the same as 2.5 per minute....

So

$\displaystyle P(k=3) = e^{-2.5}\frac{2.5^{3}}{3!} = 0.214$

Sorry for the confusion! Do you follow?

Same applies to part b)

5. Ahh, that's better.

With part b, I got this far:

$e^{-2.5}\sum\limits_{k = 2}^{\infty} \frac{(2.5)^k}{k!}$

I know this converges by the ratio test, but I can't remember how to find the value it converges to. :/

6. Why are you wanting to know what this converges to?

$\displaystyle P(k\geq K) = 1-P(k

so

$\displaystyle P(k\geq 2) = 1-P(k=1)-P(k=0) = 1-e^{-2.5}\frac{2.5^{1}}{1!}-e^{-2.5}\frac{2.5^{0}}{0!}$

7. It's confirmed, my brain is officially fried in this heat.

Thanks. :P

8. Originally Posted by Glitch
my brain is officially fried in this heat.
You in Melbourne as well?

9. Originally Posted by pickslides
You in Melbourne as well?
Sydney. It's a cloudy day, but this house has an uncanny ability to absorb and amplify heat. :P