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Binomical vs poisson distribution in Simulations

  1. Sep 14, 2006 #1
    Hey, I want to write a Computer Simulation in C++, which simulates the development of a DNA sequence with a probability to mutate x in one "generation". I do have a variable number (=n) of copies of this DNA. Now one might think, to simulate the mutation by simply:
    sum(n*Poisson distributed random variable(x) ) ​
    to get the number of mutated DNA copies. But this would be too slow.
    So my question is, could I also just create a
    binomically distributed random variable and multiply it by n * x​
    to get the number of mutated DNA's? Or is this statistically incorrect?
    If not, how might I set the Params for the Bin. dis.? Can I take 1 as a mean and multiply the result x or has the mean to be x? And how do I set / transform the variance of the distribution in a ratio to number of copies.
    As you might probably have guessed, I'm a beginner in statistics, but i would be really grateful for any help. Thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2006 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Hm, if I remember correct, there is a link between the binomial and Poisson distribution.. Poisson's probability function is given with [tex]f(x)=\frac{\lambda^x}{x!}e^{-\lambda}[/tex]. Now, I think you can put [tex]\lambda=mp[/tex], where the number of repetitions of a Bernoulli scheme experiment [tex]m \rightarrow \infty[/tex] and it's probability [tex]p \rightarrow 0[/tex].
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