If the probability of observing a car (read: at least one car) in 20 minutes on a highway is 609/625, what is the probability of observing a car (read: at least one) in 5 minutes (assuming constant default probability)?
(In reply to
One man's Mean is another man's Poisson by Penny)
Sorry, Penny, but if you're going to pun, then I can pun en français. (poisson is French for 'fish')
Actually, I still don't get the "cars run over dogs" reference, I just hope there are no animal rights activists getting upset over this.
Back to math, an example of how the poisson distribution breaks down in the discrete world: consider an interarrival time of .0001 seconds. In the real world this is impossible since it would imply 2 cars superimposed on each other.

Posted by Larry
on 20040409 19:16:04 