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Sum function (MATLAB)

  1. Jul 5, 2011 #1

    I'm new to MATLAB and was stuck on a problem which requires me to calculate the expectation value of a poisson distribution by summing the probability mass function *k ie P = k*lambda^k*exp(-lambda)/factorial(k) for k= 1 to infinity. I thought of using "for k1:1000 P =... " but then had no idea how to sum the individual results. Any help much appreciated. =)

    edit: I think I've sorted it out now by having a sum term initialised before and included into the loop. However, Im finding that if I increase k to above a value of 400 or so, both the answer for the poisson process and the sum become NaN. Surely, the probability should just reach 0 and the expectation value just 5. Is there any way to avoid this?
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2011 #2


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    Welcome to PhysicsForums! Can you post the code from your m-file? (Please put it between the [ code][/ code] tags without spaces inside the square brackets).
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