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Continuity correction

  1. Feb 26, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The random variable X has the binomial distribution B(20,0.4), and the independent random variable Y has the binomial distribution B(30,0.6). State the approximate distribution of Y-X, and hence find an approximate value for P(Y-X>13)

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    P(Y-X>13)=P(Z>(13-10)/sqrt(12))=P(Z>0.866)=0.193 (This is the correct answer)

    My question is why don't we use continuity correction in this case?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2012 #2

    Ray Vickson

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    You should use the continuity correction; it improves the accuracy a lot. The exact answer, using the actual binomial distributions, is 0.1560906047 ~ 0.156. The normal approximation (without the continuity correction) is 0.1932381154 ~ 0.193 (as you said), while the normal approximation with the continuity correction is 0.1561607109 ~ 0.156.

    BTW: the easiest way to do this question is to recognize that 20-X ~ B(20,0.6), so Y-X+20~B(30,0.6) + B(20,0.6) = B(50,0.6), giving {Y-X > 13} = {Y + 20 -X > 33} = {B(50,0.6) > 33}.

  4. Feb 27, 2012 #3
    Can you explain the reasoning to this please?
  5. Feb 27, 2012 #4

    Ray Vickson

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    If X has the distribution B(N,p), it counts the number of successes in n trials, with success probability p per trial. That means that n-X is the number of failures in n trials, with failure probability (1-p) per trial, so it is binomial with parameters n and 1-p.

  6. Feb 28, 2012 #5
    Got it now, thank you very much!
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