The concept of probability pervades every aspect of our lives. Weather forecasts are couched in probabilistic terms, as are economic predictions and even outcomes of our own personal decisions. Designers and operators of computer networks need to often think probabilistically, for instance, when anticipating future traffic workloads or computing cache hit rates. From a mathematical standpoint, a good grasp of probability is a necessary foundation to understanding statistics, game theory, and information theory. For these reasons, the first step in our excursion into the mathematical foundations of computer networking is to study the concepts and theorems of probability.
This chapter is a self-contained introduction ...