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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics, 2nd Edition by Robert Donnelly

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Characteristics of a Poisson Process

In Chapter 9, we defined a binomial experiment, otherwise known as a Bernoulli process, as counting the number of successes over a specific number of trials. The result of each trial is either a success or a failure. A Poisson process counts the number of occurrences of an event over a period of time, area, distance, or any other type of measurement.
 
Rather than being limited to only two outcomes, the Poisson process can have any number of outcomes over the unit of measurement. For instance, the number of customers who walk into our local convenience store during the next hour could be zero, one, two, three, or so on. The random variable for the Poisson distribution would be the actual number of occurrences—in ...

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