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Hidden Markov ProcessesTheory and Applications to Biology$
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M. Vidyasagar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133157

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133157.001.0001

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Introduction to Probability and Random Variables

Introduction to Probability and Random Variables

(p.3) Chapter One Introduction to Probability and Random Variables
Hidden Markov Processes

M. Vidyasagar

Princeton University Press

This chapter provides an introduction to probability and random variables. Probability theory is an attempt to formalize the notion of uncertainty in the outcome of an experiment. For instance, suppose an urn contains four balls, colored red, blue, white, and green respectively. Suppose we dip our hand in the urn and pull out one of the balls “at random.” What is the likelihood that the ball we pull out will be red? The chapter first defines a random variable and probability before discussing the function of a random variable and expected value. It then considers total variation distance, joint and marginal probability distributions, independence and conditional probability distributions, Bayes' rule, and maximum likelihood estimates. Finally, it describes random variables assuming infinitely many values, focusing on Markov and Chebycheff inequalities, Hoeffding's inequality, Monte Carlo simulation, and Cramér's theorem.

Keywords:   random variable, expected value, total variation distance, probability distribution, Probability theory, Bayes' rule, maximum likelihood estimate, Hoeffding's inequality, Monte Carlo simulation, Cramér's theorem

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