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Multiplication Rule of Probability

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Multiplication Rule of Probability - Lesson Summary

The conditional probability of event E given that event F has occurred, is given by

P(E|F) = P(E∩F)/P(F), P(F) ≠ 0

⇒ P(E∩F) = P(E|F).P(F) ...(1)

The conditional probability of event F given that event E has occurred, is given by

P(E|F) = P(F∩E)/P(E), P(E) ≠ 0

⇒ P(F|E) = P(E∩F)/P(E) (∵E ∩ F = F ∩ E)

⇒ P(E∩F) = P(F|E).P(E) ...(2)

From (1) and (2), we get

P(E∩F) = P(E|F).P(F) = P(F|E).P(E)

This is called the multiplication rule of probability.

Ex:

Consider a pack of cards. Two cards are drawn one after the other, without replacing the first card back into the pack.What is the probability of the event, "drawing a king first and then a queen?

Sol:

Let K and Q be the events of drawing a king and a queen card, respectively.

The probability of drawing a king first and then a queen = P(K ∩ Q)

Total number of cards = 52

Number of kings = 4

∴ P(K) = 4/52

Numbers of cards present in the pack = 52 - 1 = 51 (∵ 1 card is already drawn.)

Number of queens = 4

The conditional probability of Q given that K has occurred: P(Q|K) = 4/51

From the multiplication rule of probability,

P(K∩Q) = P(Q|K).P(K)

P(K∩Q) = 4/51 x 4/52

              = 4/51 x 1/13 = 4/663

∴ P(K∩Q) = 4/663

The probability of drawing a king first and then a queen is 4/663.

Multiplication rule for three events E, F and G:

P(E ∩ F ∩ G) = P(E).P(F|E).P(G|(E ∩ F)) = P(E).P(F|E).P(G|EF)

Ex:

An urn contains 12 red balls and 8 blue balls.Suppose we take two red balls and then a blue ball one after another without replacement. What would be the probability of the event of taking out two red balls and a blue ball?

Sol:

Let R: Red ball is drawn

B: Blue ball is drawn

Total number of balls available in the urn = 12 red balls + 8 blue balls = 20

Probability of taking one red ball: P(R) = 12/20 = 3/5

Number of red balls available = 12 - 1 = 11

Number of balls available (after a red ball is drawn)= 20 - 1 = 19

Probability of taking second red ball given that one red ball has already been taken: P(R|R) = 11/19

Number of balls available (after two red balls are drawn) = 19 - 1 = 18

Probability of taking a blue ball given that two red balls have already been taken: P(B|RR) = 8/18 = 4/9

P(RRB) = P(R).P(R|R).P(B|RR)

=  3/5 x 11/19 x 4/9

= 1/5 x 11/19 x 4/3 = 44/285

∴ P(RRB) = 44/285

The probability of taking two successive red balls and a blue ball is 44/285.

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