and
2
x
;
 understand that the sample mean X is a random variable with
( )
E X = and
( )
2
Var X
n
o
= ;
 use the fact that X has a normal distribution if X has a normal distribution;
 apply the sampling distribution
2
~ N , X
n
o
 

to solve statistical problems in real
world situations;
\ .
 Use the Central Limit Theorem to treat X as having a normal distribution when X
is not normally distributed and the sample size is sufficiently large.
1 Introduction
When we need to gather information about a population, very rarely in practice can we afford
the luxury of examining the complete population (e.g. all Asians, European women who
weigh more than 50kg, etc.). The two obvious reasons are that the cost is too high and the
population is dynamic in that the individuals making up the population may change over
time.
Almost invariably, sample observations are used to make inferences about the population
probability distribution. This is known as statistical inference. Sampling theory is a study of
this relationship between a population and the samples drawn from that population. It
provides a systematic way of gauging the extent of reliability or accuracy of this inference.
A population is the whole set of items that people are interested in.
A sample is a representative part of a population.
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
Examples
1. In doing project work, a group of SH1 students want to find out the mean number of
hours Junior College (JC) students spent on watching TV daily. The population is all the
JC students in Singapore. A sample can be taken by selecting 20 students from each JC.
2. Suppose that in Neotopia, 60% of the population are males and 40% are females. An
investigation is made to find out the number of vegetarians. A sample of 50 people
consisting of 30 men and 20 women is taken.
However for the statistical analysis to be valid, the sample must be carefully gathered (e.g. it
must not be biased in any way, and the larger the sample, the better the representation, etc).
Hence this chapter shall focus on discussing several sampling methods.
2 Sampling Methods
Sampling methods are classified as either probability or nonprobability. In probability
sampling, each member of the population has a known nonzero probability of being selected.
Probability sampling methods include random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified
sampling. In nonprobability sampling, members are selected from the population in some
nonrandom manner. These include convenience sampling, judgment sampling, quota
sampling, and snowball sampling. The advantage of probability sampling is that sampling
error can be calculated. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample might differ from the
population. When inferring to the population, results are reported plus or minus the sampling
error. In nonprobability sampling, the degree to which the sample differs from the population
remains unknown.
In this chapter, we will cover four different types of sampling, namely, random sampling,
systematic sampling, stratified sampling and quota sampling.
2.1 Sampling Frame
This is the list of all members within a population that can be sampled, and may include
individuals, households, institutions, etc. A sampling frame should be as accurate and upto
date as possible. Ideally the sampling frame should list the entire target population.
2.2 Random Sampling
A random sample is one in which each member of the population has an equal chance of
being selected.
Two methods which can be carried out for random sampling are:
 drawing lots, for instance, to select a sample size n from a population of N people, we
may write the names of all the people on slips of papers and put the slips in a
container. We then draw the slips from the container. This method would be
relatively difficult if the population is large;
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 random number sampling. (Random numbers can be generated by computer
programmes like Excel and calculators or obtained through random number tables.)
To carry out random sampling,
 the sampling frame must be complete and updated.
 population size should be manageable.
Advantage of Random Sampling
 The analysis of data is relatively easy.
 The data collected is generally free from bias.
Disadvantages of Random Sampling
 It is difficult or impossible to identify every member of the population especially if
the population is large.
 We may not be able to get access to some members who have been chosen for the
sample.
Strictly speaking, the method described above is known as simple random sampling, as
systematic and stratified sampling methods are also random sampling methods which yield
random samples. However, a special result of simple random sampling is that each sample of
the same size has an equal probability of being selected.
2.3 Systematic Sampling
(Simple) random sampling from a very large population is very cumbersome. An alternative
procedure is to use systematic sampling. Systematic sampling yields a random sample
whereby a starting point is randomly chosen and then the items are picked at regular
intervals from the population.
Suppose we can line up all members of a population and that we can move down the line one
member at a time. To draw a sample, we simply select every k
th
member (eg. every 5
th
member) of the population. Usually the first member selected is chosen randomly from the
first k members
1
, and if the sample is of size n, then
N
k
n
~ , where N is the size of the
population.
Example 2.1
A free gift is to be given to each of the 8 households from an estate of 120 households. The
120 households are listed in a certain order and every 15
th
household is chosen since
120
15
8
k = = . If the 7
th
household is randomly chosen from the first 15 households as the
starting point, then household numbers 7, 22, 37, 52, 67, 82, 97 and 112 will get a free gift.
1
The first member can actually be randomly selected from any point in the population. However, we will need
to cycle back to the start of the population list upon reaching the end of the list if there are insufficient samples.
For instance in Example 2.1, we could have randomly selected the 37
th
household as the first household, then the
household numbers 37, 52, 67, 82, 97, 112, 7 and 22 will get a free gift.
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
Note: This is no longer simple random sampling, because some combinations of 8
households have a larger selection probability than others for instance, {15, 30, 45, ,
120} has a
1
15
chance of being selected, while {1, 2, 3, ..., 8} can never be selected under this
method.
Example 2.2
A survey is to be conducted on 250 ticket holders to a carnival out of 5300 ticket holders. To
draw a sample of 250 ticket holders from a population of 5300 ticket holders, we may take
5300
21.2 21
250
k = = ~ . We can then select every 21
st
ticket holder commencing with a
randomly selected first ticket holder (say the 8
th
ticket holder).
When using systematic sampling, the researcher must ensure that the chosen sampling
interval does not hide a pattern. Any pattern might result in a bias sample (See
Disadvantages of Systematic Sampling).
To carry out systematic sampling,
 the starting point must be randomly selected.
 use systematic sampling only when the population is likely to be homogeneous.
 the sampling frame must be complete and updated.
Advantages of Systematic Sampling
 The sample is more evenly spread out over the population.
 It is easier to conduct than other types of sampling.
Disadvantages of Systematic Sampling
 There may be bias caused by the effect of periodicity of the population ie. there may
be a periodic or cyclic pattern within the frame itself. Consider the following:
o Suppose the use of a particular MRT station in a period of time is to be
investigated. If the seventh day is selected to do the testing, then the same day
of the week would be tested on each occasion. If that day happened to be
Sunday, this may result in a very inaccurate picture of the use of the station.
 It is not always possible to arrange the members of the population, especially if the
sample size is large.
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Example 2.3
The Head of Mathematics Department of Holistics Junior College decides to take a survey of
opinions of 700 graduating students regarding the quality of the teaching of Mathematics.
(i) What is the sampling frame in the context of the question?
(ii) Describe clearly how a systematic sample of size 140 can be obtained.
Solution
(i) It is the list of all the 700 graduating students.
(ii) Arrange the list of all 700 students in some order (can be by surname, class or any other
reasonable category).
Calculate the interval to take samples from to obtain the 140 samples, ie.
700
5
140
= .
From the first group of 5 students, select the first student randomly. Then select every
5
th
student thereafter.
2.4 Stratified Sampling
The population is divided into nonoverlapping representative groups or strata according to
one or more criteria. Items are selected randomly from each stratum, with the sample size
being proportional to the relative size of the stratum. Examples of strata are age groups,
genders and income groups. Again, we can see that stratified sampling yields a random
sample.
For instance, in 2001, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) conducted a
national survey of 3000 Singaporeans aged 10 years or older to determine the broadband
market size in Singapore while gaining an understanding of the demographic and usage
profiles of these users.
In order to obtain a random sample of 3000 Singaporeans of the correct racial proportion,
IDA tried to model the sample size as accurately as the actual racial proportion of Singapore.
Groups Chinese Malays Indian/Others
Sample Size 78% 3000 2340 = 13% 3000 390 = 9% 3000 270 =
Source: Survey on Broadband Usage in Singapore in 2001 Summary Report, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
To carry out stratified sampling,
 strata must not overlap (no member of the population can belong to two strata at the
same time).
 strata must be exhaustive (every member in the population belongs to one and only
one stratum).
 each of the strata can be treated separately, and so the sampling is convenient and
more accurate.
 the sampling frame must be complete and updated.
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
Advantages of Stratified Sampling
 The results of each stratum can be analysed separately, so it is convenient and usually
gives more accurate estimates.
 It ensures better coverage of the population than simple random sampling as it
represents the population proportionately.
Disadvantages of Stratified Sampling
 It is more difficult to conduct as compared with simple random sampling.
 It may be difficult to identify appropriate strata.
 It is time consuming (difficult to organise).
Example 2.4
An airline wishes to assess its inflight service for a specific flight and employs a marketing
research company to administer a survey. The seats on this flight are divided into classes as
follows:
Class Type First Class Business Class Economy Class Total
No. of Seats 20 80 300 400
(i) An employee of the company proposes using stratified sampling method to select 80
seats and ask the passengers occupying these seats to complete a questionnaire.
Describe how this sample can be obtained. Suggest a practical difficulty which may be
encountered in carrying out this proposal.
(ii) Another employee suggests using simple random sampling method to choose a sample
of 80 passengers from the list of passengers who have checked in. Explain why it may
not be appropriate to use this sampling method.
Solution
(i) Based on the breakdown of the class types, the company can randomly select 4, 16 and
60 seats from the first, business and economy class respectively for the survey.
Some passengers have booked a flight ticket but did not turn up or changed flight so
some of the seats in the sample may not have a passenger.
OR
The flight is not fully booked so the chosen seat could be empty.
OR
The passenger may ignore the questionnaire.
(ii) It is not appropriate to use simple random sampling as passengers from different classes
experience different inflight service and hence may have very different opinions on the
service.
OR
The number of passengers in the first class is very small, so the passengers from the
first class may not be chosen at all using the random sampling method.
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2.5 Quota Sampling
Quota sampling is commonly used in market research and opinion polls. It works in the same
way as stratified sampling where the population is divided into mutually exclusive subgroups,
but the sample is nonrandom. For example, a surveyor is asked to interview 20 people in
the market concerning the use of a certain brand of detergent. The interviewer is given a list
of required criteria concerning the sample of 20 people. Based on this requirement, he selects
his sample (in a nonrandom manner).
Specific Subgroups required:
Sex Age Social Class
Male Female 20 29 6 High 7
30 39 8 Middle 10
40 49 4 Low 3 8 12
> 50 2
Total : 20 Total : 20 Total : 20
Based on this quota, a possible selection is as follows:
Social Class 2029 3039 4049 > 50 Total
High 2 male 2 male 2 female 1 female 7
Middle 2 male 6 female 2 female  10
Low 2 male   1 female 3
Total 6 8 4 2 20
The interviewer is given a free choice in picking the people to fill the quotas.
To carry out quota sampling,
 no sampling frame required.
 information gathered from this type of sample must be treated with caution.
Advantages of Quota Sampling
 The cost is low.
 It is faster to gather the information.
 Does not require a sampling frame.
Disadvantages of Quota Sampling
 It is not a good representation of the population as a whole as compared with other
types of sampling.
 The sample is nonrandom, thus making it impossible to assess the sampling error.
 This method is biased as the interviewer may choose those who are easier and more
willing to be interviewed.
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Example 2.5
(i) Give a reallife example of a situation in which quota sampling could be used. Explain
why quota sampling would be appropriate in this situation, and describe briefly any
disadvantage that quota sampling has.
(ii) Explain briefly whether it would be possible to use stratified sampling in the situation
you have described in part (i).
Solution
(i) Example: Interview shoppers in a supermarket to find out their liking for a special
product.
Quota sampling is appropriate as the shoppers can be easily divided into different age
groups, e.g. below 20, 2035, 3650, 5165 and above 65.
Disadvantage:
The sample could be biased since the interviewer may tend to select shoppers who are
more approachable and this results in a nonrandom sample.
(ii) For stratified sampling, a sampling frame must be available. In the above situation, it is
not easy to obtain the list of all shoppers. Hence stratified sampling is not possible.
Note:
(i) Your answer should include the following (with reference to the situation):
What is the population described in the context? (Shoppers at a supermarket)
What is/are the issue(s) stated? (To find out the liking for a special product)
What are the subpopulations to be identified? (The different age groups i.e. the
strata)
How do you discuss the disadvantage relevant to the context? (Biased, non
random)
(ii) Possible or not depends on whether the situation in (i) has a sampling frame. Your
answer should clearly imply consideration of whether the list (sampling frame) exists
or is accessible.
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3 Parameters and Statistics
Suppose that a population has an unknown parameter (i.e. mean, variance, proportion, etc),
then an estimate of this unknown parameter can be made from the information supplied by a
random sample(s) taken from the population. The information from which the parameter is
inferred from sample is called a statistic. For instance, the mean of a sample gives us an
estimate of the mean of a population. Hence, sample mean is a statistic and population mean
is a parameter.
For example, someone wants to find out the mean number of hours a JC student in Singapore
spent on watching TV. The mean here is a population parameter, and it is often denoted by
.
In a survey of 20 JC students, the mean number of hours from this sample is a statistic. It can
be used to infer the population mean. The sample mean is often denoted by X .
Formally, let X be the number of hours a JC student in Singapore spend on watching TV.
Then E( ) X = .
Surveying one student is equivalent to making one observation of X, which we can denote the
outcome by
1
X . Hence, a survey of 20 students is equivalent to making 20 observations of
X, i.e.
1 2
, ,
3 2
,,
0
X X X X and the sample mean is therefore
1 2 3 2
...
20
0
X X X X
X
+ + + +
= .
Note that X is a random variable, since
1 2 3 20
, , , , X X X X are all random variables. The
experiment is the survey of 20 students on the number of hours spent on watching TV. The
outcome is the mean value of the number of hours for the sample. This outcome will be
different, with every sampling of 20 students.
4 Estimators
In this section, we will discuss point estimation.
For example, X , the sample mean, is an estimator of population mean .
For example, a single value of x of the statistic, X , the sample mean, is a point estimate of
population mean .
A statistic is a numeric quantity of some characteristic in the sample.
Any statistic, T, derived from a random sample and used to estimate
an unknown population parameter u, is known as an estimator.
A point estimate of a population parameter u is a
single value t of a statistic T that is used to estimate u.
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Suppose from a particular sample, we find that the sample mean is 3. Then this sample mean
is a point estimate of the population mean. Point estimates are represented by lower case
letters, i.e. 3 x = .
4.1 Unbiased Estimators
Consider a population with an unknown parameter u.
We shall see that X is an unbiased estimator of .
** See Appendix A1 for definition of a best estimator.
4.1.1 Unbiased Estimator of Population Mean
Let
1 2 3
, , , ...,
n
X X X X be a random sample from a population with UNKNOWN mean .
Then we have
Proof:
( ) ( ) ( )
1 2 3
... 1
E E E E
n
X X X X
X n
n n
X X
+ + + +  
= = (

\ .
= = .
4.1.2 Unbiased Estimator of Population Variance
Let
1 2 3
, , , ...,
n
X X X X be a random sample of size n from a population with UNKNOWN
variance o
2
. By definition, sample variance is
( )
2
2
1
1
n
x i
i
X X
n
o
=
=
.
i.e.
( )
2
E s
2
o = , where
** See Appendix A2 for proof.
If T is an estimator (from a sample) for the parameter u, then T is said to be an unbiased
estimator if and only if ( ) u = T E .
X is an unbiased estimator of where
1 2 3
...
n
X X X X
X
n
+ + + +
= .
2 2
1
x
n
s
n
o =
(
(
( =
(
(
(
=
(
,
2
47324 x =
.
Unbiased estimate for the population mean,
1
46.9kg
20
x x = =
.
Sample variance,
( )
( ) ( )
2
2 2 2
1 1
( ) 47324 46.9 166.59
20
x
i
x x
n
o = = =
.
Unbiased estimate for the population variance, ( )
2 2
20 20
166.59 175 (3 sig. fig.)
19 19
x
s o = = = .
OR
We can use the graphic calculator to help us.
Action Keystroke Screen Shot
Enter data in List 1 using STAT > Edit
Press STAT > CALC
Select 1Var Stats
Press L
1
.
Press Enter.
This shows you the unbiased estimates for the population
mean x and variance .
2
s
Therefore,
2 2
13.2422768 175.36
x
s = =
(
x
o denotes the sample standard deviation.)
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 11
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OR
s
2
can also be calculated directly without finding
2
x
o first.
( )
2
2
1 2 2
1
1 1 938
47324 175 (3 sig. fig.)
1 20 1 20
n
i
n
i
i
i
x
s x
n n
=
=
(
 
(

(
\ . (
= = =
(
(
(
(
Example 4.2
A random sample of 110 tables is examined, and the mass x (kg) are given by
and . Calculate the unbiased estimates of , the population mean, and o
2
, the
population variance.
1759 x =
2
198020 x =
Solution
Given that n = 110, , we get
2
1759, 198020 x x = =
1759
15.99
110
x = = and
2 2
2 2
( )
1 1 (1759)
198020 1558.64
1 109 110
x
s x
n n
( (
= = =
( (
.
Example 4.3 (Example 4.2 revisited)
A random sample of 110 tables is examined, and the mass x (kg) are given by
and . Calculate the unbiased estimates of , the
population mean, and o
2
, the population variance.
( ) 15 1759 x =
( )
2
15 198020 x =
Solution:
Let , we have and 15 y x = 1759 y =
2
198020 y =
.
Also,
1759
15 15 15 31.0
110
y x x y = = + = + =
The variance of x will be the same as the variance of y.
2 2
2 2
( )
1 1 (1759)
198020 1558.64
1 109 110
y
s y
n n
( (
= = =
( (
Question: Why do you think the values of s
2
in Examples 4.2 and 4.3 are the same (ie. Why
is the variance of x the same as the variance of y?)
Answer: Translating all data points by 15 units does not affect the spread of the data.
Hence, the variance of x will be the same as the variance of y.
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5 Sample Mean, X
Although we can obtain the unbiased estimates of a parameter, we also see that for every
sample that we draw from the population, the estimates will most likely be different. Then
how do we know which one is a better indication of the population parameter? In order to
resolve this, we need to know the distribution of the statistic which provides information
about the parameter. More specifically in our case, we shall determine the distribution of the
sample mean.
** See Appendix A3 for a detailed example of what it means by sampling distribution of the sample mean.
5.1 Mean and Variance of Sample Mean
Let
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X be n independent observations of a random variable X, taken from any
infinite population (or finite population if sampling is with replacement) with mean and
variance o
2
. Notice that each of
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X will have the same distribution as X. Then,
1 2
,....,
n
, X X X is known as a random sample of size n taken from the population.
The sample mean is ( )
1 2
1
....
n
X X X X
n
= + + + .
Then,
( )
E X = and
( )
2
Var X
n
o
= .
Proof:
( ) ( ) ( )
1 2 3
... 1
E E E E
n
X X X X
X n
n n
X X
+ + + +  
= = (

\ .
= =
( )  
 
1 2 1 2 2
2
2
1 1
Var( ) Var ... Var( ) Var( ) ... Var( )
1
Var( )
n n
X X X X X X X
n n
n X
n n
o
(
= + + + = + + +
(
= =
5.2 Distribution of the Sample Mean
(A) From a Normal Population with Known Population Variance, o
2
Let
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X be a random sample of size n taken from a population with Normal
distribution having mean and variance o
2
, where
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X are independent
observations of X. Then ( )
1 2
....
n
1
X X X
n
= + X + + follows a Normal distribution where
( )
X E = and
( )
2
Var X
n
o
= , i.e.
( )
2
2
~ , ~ N , X N X
n
o
o
 

\ .
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Note: The distribution of X is exactly normal when X is known to be normal and this is
regardless of the size of n.
Example 5.1
A machine produces cylindrical rods whose diameters are normally distributed with mean
1 cm and standard deviation 0.01 cm.
(i) If 4 of these rods are selected at random, calculate the probability that the mean of their
diameters will exceed 0.99 cm.
(ii) Find the least sample size, n, required to ensure that there is a probability of more than
0.95 that the sample mean differs from the population mean diameter by less than 0.001
cm.
Solution
Let X be the diameter of a cylindrical rod. Then
( )
2
~ N 1, 0.01 X .
(i) The mean of the diameter of the 4 selected rods,
2
0.01
~ N 1,
4
X
 

\ .
.
Using GC, P( 0.99) 0.977 X > = .
(ii) Now
2
0.01
~ N 1, X
n
 

\ .
and since we need P( 0.001 0.001) 0.95 X < < + > ,
0.001 0.001
P 0.95 ;
0.01 0.01
P 0
10 10
P 0.975
10
1.96
10
n n
n n
Z
n
Z
n
 
< < >

\ .
 
< < >


\ .
 
< >


\ .
where
0.01
.95
384.16
X
Z Z
n
n
=
> >
Therefore, the minimum sample size required is 385.
In the above example, (ii) shows us that we can achieve the level of reliability that we want
by varying the size of the sample.
We also like to point out that where there are unknown population mean and/or variance to
be computed, a good approach to get around this problem is to standardise the normal
random variable.
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(B) From Any Distribution with Known Population Variance, o
2
Central Limit Theorem (CLT)
Let
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X be a random sample of size n taken from a population with any nonnormal
distribution having mean and variance o
2
, where
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X are independent
observations of X. Then when n is large (n > 30), by Central Limit Theorem,
(i) the distribution of the sample mean (
1 2
1
......
n
) X X X X
n
= + + + is approximately
normal and so
(ii) the distribution of the sum
1 2
....
n
X X X + + + is also approximately normal and so
1. The Central Limit Theorem applies to any nonnormal distribution, discrete or
continuous, as long as n is sufficiently large.
2. Sometimes a smaller sample size (eg. 25) may be considered large. It is important to
note that the approximation gets better as n gets larger.
3. In theory, continuity correction (c.c.) is needed if X is a discrete random variable. But
due to the negligible difference in the value of probability obtained with and without
considering the c.c.
1
2n
 

, it is not necessary to apply c.c. even if X is discrete.
\ .
Example 5.2
A random sample of 40 observations is taken from a binomial distribution, .
Find the probability that the sample mean exceeds 5.5.
~ B(10, 0.6) X
Solution
~ B(10, 0.6) X
2
E( ) 10 0.6 6
Var( ) 10 0.6 0.4 2.4
X
X
o
= = =
= = =
Since is large, then by Central Limit Theorem, 40 n =
2.4
~ N 6,
40
X

\ .


approximately.
Therefore,
( )
P 5.5 0.979 X > = .
Here, we can see that X follows a binomial distribution.
However, by CLT,
1 2 4
40
0
X X X + + +
follows a normal distribution approximately.
2
~ N , X
n
o
 

\ .
approximately.
( )
2
1 2
.... ~ N ,
n
X X X n n o + + + approximately.
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Example 5.3
An electrical circuit contains components, one of which is faulty and tests are conducted to
locate the fault. The random variable X denotes the number of tests required to locate the
fault, and it is given that E and ( ) 11 X = Var( ) 2 X = . The cost C (in suitable units) of
locating a fault depends in part on the number of tests required and is given by the formula
. Find the expectation and variance of C. Given that 100 circuits of the above
type are to be tested, find the probability that the total cost will exceed 2750 units.
X C 2 5 + =
Solution
E( ) E(5 2 ) 5 2E( ) 27;
Var( ) Var(5 2 ) 4Var( ) 8
C X X
C X X
= + = + =
= + = =
Since is large, then by Central Limit Theorem, 100 n =
we have ( )
1 100
total cost, ... ~ N 27 100, 8 100 approximately T C C = + + .
Therefore, (3 sig. fig). ( ) P 2750 0.0385 T > =
Remark
In this example, although the population means and population variances of both X and C are
known, their distributions are unknown.
Important Note:
In the above sections (A) and (B), notice that we have considered problems where both the
means and variances are known values. However, it must be noted that in most practical
situations, both the mean and variance of the distribution are unknown. The next
section (C) shall discuss the situation when the population variance is unknown.
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 16
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 17
(C) From a Population with Unknown Population Variance, o
2
Let
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X be a random sample of size n taken from a population with any distribution
having mean and variance o
2
, where
1 2
, ,....,
n
X X X are independent observations of X.
Then we can have
2
~ N , X
n
o
 
\ .

either due to X being normally distributed or by CLT if X
is not normally distributed but n is large. Upon standardising, we get ( ) ~ N 0,1
X
Z
n
o
=
exactly if X is normally distributed or approximately if CLT is used.
If o
2
is unknown, we need to find a replacement for it. The obvious choice will be to use its
unbiased estimator, s
2
.
Recall that:
2
2 2 2
( )
1
1 1
x
x
n
s x
n n n
o
(
= =
(
(
Hence, we can use this point estimate in place of the population variance. However, as the
unbiased estimator is also a statistic and follows a certain distribution, this introduces error
into the distribution of Z.
Thus, as opposed to ( ~ N 0,1
X
Z
n
o
= ) , we have instead ~
X
T t
s n
v
= , where 1 n v = .
t
v
denotes the tdistribution with degrees of freedom.
Another result tells us that when n is large (> 30). Hence when n is large, ( N 0,1 t
v
~ )
( ~ N 0,1
X
s n
) approximately, i.e.
2
~ N ,
s
X
n
\ .


approximately.
For now, we shall only consider the case where n is large. The situation when n is small shall
be dealt with in greater details in the next topic.
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 18
Example 5.4
A random sample of 110 tables is examined, and the mass x (kg) are given by
and . Calculate the unbiased estimates of , the population mean, and o
2
, the
population variance. Find the value of d given that there is a probability of 0.95 that the
sample mean differs from the population mean by less than d kg.
1759 x =
2
198020 x =
Solution
From Example 4.2,
1759
15.99
110
x = = and
2
2 2
( )
1
1558.64
1
x
s x
n n
(
= =
(
.
Since X is of an unknown distribution and n = 100 is large, by CLT,
2
~ N , X
n
o
 

\ .
approximately. Since o is unknown, we use s in place of o and we have
2
~ N ,
s
X
n
 

\ .
approximately.
Given that
( )
P 0 X d < = .95 , we have
( )
0.975
P 0.95
110 110
P 0.95, (Since is large, ~ N 0,1 approx.)
110 110
1.96
110
7.38
X
d
s s
d X
Z n
s s
d
z
s
d
 
< = 

\ .
 
< =

\ .
= =
=
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 19
Example 5.5
In a survey of 50 student leaders, the number of hours each of them spent on CCA per week,
x, was obtained. The summarised data are as follows:
( 5) 3 x =
2 and .
2
( 5) 400 x =
(i) Find the unbiased estimates of the population mean and population variance of the
number of hours each student leader spent on CCA per week.
(ii) Based on the above sample, estimate the probability that the average number of hours
each student leader spent on CCA per week exceeds 6 hours.
Solution
(i) Let y = x 5. Then
and . 32 y =
2
400 y =
1 32
0.64
50
y y
n
= = =
.
( ) ( )
2 2
2 2
1 1 1 1
400 32
1 49
379.52 9488
7.7453. (5 sig. fig.)
49 1225
y
s y y
n n
(
= =
(
= = =
50
(
(
Let x and
2
x
s be the unbiased estimates of the required mean and variance respectively.
5 0.64 5 5.64 x y = + = + = .
2 2
9488
7.75
1225
x y
s s = = = . (3 sig. fig.)
(ii) Since n = 50 is large, by Central Limit Theorem,
2
~ N ,
50
X
o
 

\ .
approximately.
Since and
2
are unknown, we estimate them using x and s
2
respectively.
Hence, we get the following estimates:
Mean of X = 5.64 and Variance of X =
7.7453
0.15491
50
= .
Hence, P( X > 6) = 0.180 (3 sig. fig.)
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 20
SUMMARY OF DISTRIBUTION OF X
We consider 2 main cases: population variance known and unknown.
X has mean and known variance o
2
( )
2
~ N ,
n
X
o
exactly
regardless of n
( )
2
~ N ,
n
X
o
approximately
by CLT for large n
X has mean and unknown variance o
2
( )
2
~ N ,
n
X
o
regardless of n
( )
2
~ N ,
n
X
o
by CLT for large n
1
~
n
X
t
s n
n small, then no change
1
~
n
t
s n
X
X follows a Normal Distribution Distribution of X is unknown
X follows a Normal Distribution
Distribution of X is unknown
Variance unknown, so replace with s
2
, hence causes change in distribution of X
n large, ( )
1
N 0,1
n
t
~
( ) ~ N 0,1
X
s n
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 21
Appendix
A1 Best Estimator
Example A1.1
If is a random sample taken from a population with mean
3 2 1
, , X X X and variance ,
determine which of the following estimators for
o
2
are unbiased, and the best estimator.
3
3 2 1
1
X X X
T
+ +
= ;
3
3 2
3 2 1
2
X X X
T
+ +
= ;
3
2
2 1
3
X X
T
+
=
Solution
1 2 3
1
1
E( ) E [3E( )]
3 3
X X X
T X
+ +  
= =

\ .
=
1 2 3
2
2 3 1
E( ) E [6E( )] 2
3 3
X X X
T X
+ +  
= =

\ .
=
1 2
3
2 1
E( ) E [3E( )]
3 3
X X
T X
+  
= =

\ .
=
Hence, T
1
and T
3
are unbiased estimators of ..
2 1 2 3
1
2 1 2
3
1 1
Var( ) Var [3Var( )]
3 9 3
2 1 5
Var( ) Var [Var( ) 4Var( )]
3 9 9
X X X
T X
X X
T X
o
X o
+ +  
= = =

\ .
+  
= = +

\ .
=
Hence, T
1
is the best estimator.
An estimator is said to be the best estimator if it is unbiased and has the smallest variance.
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 22
A2 Unbiased Estimator of Population Variance
Proof
The sample variance is given by
( )
( )
( ) ( ) ( )
( )
( ) ( )
( )
2
2
1
2 2
1
2 2
1 1 1
2 2
1 1
2
2
1
1
1
2
1 1 1
2
1 1 1
2 1
1
n
x i
i
n
i
i
n n n
i
i i i
n n
i
i i
n
i
i
i
i
i
X X
n
X XX X
n
X XX X
n n n
X X X X
n n n
X X
n
o
=
=
= = =
= =
=
=
= +
= + +
  
= +

\ . \
=
1
n
i=


.
Then,
( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( ) ( )
( )
( ) ( )
2
2 2
1
2
2
1
2
2 2
2
2 2
1
2 2 2 2 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
1
1
E E
1
E E
1
E ... E
1
E ... E E
1 1 1
E E
1 1
n
x
i
n
i
n
n
i
i
X X
n
X X
n
X X X
n
X X X
n
n X X
n n n
n
n n
o
2
o o
o o o o
=
=
 
=

\ .
 
=

\ .
= + +
(
= + +
   
(
= + =
 
\ . \ .
 
= + + = =

\ .
+
We can see from the workings above that the sample variance
2
x
o is not an unbiased
estimator of the population variance o
2
since
( )
2 2
x
E o o = .
But we observe that
( ) ( )
2 2 2 2 2
1
E E E
1 1
x x
n n n
n n n
2
x
o o o o o
 
= = =

\ .
o .
In other words, a multiple of the sample variance, denoted by
2
1
2
x
n
s
n
o =
is an unbiased
estimator of the population variance,
2
o .
2 2
1
x
n
s
n
o =
+ + +
= = .
Lets take all possible samples of size n = 2 from this population (repetitions allowed) where
for each sample, X
1
is the first observation and X
2
is the second observation and
1 2
2
X X
X
+
= .
Observation Observation
Sample No.
X
1
X
2
X
Sample No.
X
1
X
2
X
1 2 2
1
2 x =
9 4 2
9
3 x =
2 2 3
2
2.5 x =
10 4 3
10
3.5 x =
3 2 4
3
3 x =
11 4 4
11
4 x =
4 2 5
4
3.5 x =
12 4 5
12
4.5 x =
5 3 2
5
2.5 x =
13 5 2
13
3.5 x =
6 3 3
6
3 x =
14 5 3
14
4 x =
7 3 4
7
3.5 x =
15 5 4
15
4.5 x =
8 3 5
8
4 x =
16 5 5
16
5 x =
1 2 3 16
, , , , x x x x are different possible observations of X .
By studying how the value of
1 2 3 16
, , , , x x x x changes, we are studying the distribution of the
sample mean X .
Observe that
 x is rarely exactly . However most are close to (or cluster around) .
 Extreme values of x are uncommon.
 You can determine the exact probability of obtaining a particular X .
For instance,
( )
3
P 3
16
X < = .
The sampling distribution, X , is as follows:
x 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5
( )
P X x =
1
16
2
16
3
16
4
16
3
16
2
16
1
16
Also,
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
3 3 1 2 4 2 1
16 16 16 16 16 16 16
E 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 3.5 X = + + + + + + = = .
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 23
H2 Sampling National Junior College Mathematics Department 2011
If possible samples of size n = 3 are taken from the population, the observations will be as
follows:
Observation Observation
Sample No
X
1
X
2
X
3
X
Sample No
X
1
X
2
X
3
X
1 2 2 2 2 33 4 2 2 2.667
2 2 2 3 2.333 34 4 2 3 3
3 2 2 4 2.667 35 4 2 4 3.333
4 2 2 5 3 36 4 2 5 3.667
5 2 3 2 2.333 37 4 3 2 3
6 2 3 3 2.667 38 4 3 3 3.333
7 2 3 4 3 39 4 3 4 3.667
8 2 3 5 3.333 40 4 3 5 4
9 2 4 2 2.667 41 4 4 2 3.333
10 2 4 3 3 42 4 4 3 3.667
11 2 4 4 3.333 43 4 4 4 4
12 2 4 5 3.667 44 4 4 5 4.333
13 2 5 2 3 45 4 5 2 3.667
14 2 5 3 3.333 46 4 5 3 4
15 2 5 4 3.667 47 4 5 4 4.333
16 2 5 5 4 48 4 5 5 4.667
17 3 2 2 2.333 49 5 2 2 3
18 3 2 3 2.667 50 5 2 3 3.333
19 3 2 4 3 51 5 2 4 3.667
20 3 2 5 3.333 52 5 2 5 4
21 3 3 2 2.667 53 5 3 2 3.333
22 3 3 3 3 54 5 3 3 3.667
23 3 3 4 3.333 55 5 3 4 4
24 3 3 5 3.667 56 5 3 5 4.333
25 3 4 2 3 57 5 4 2 3.667
26 3 4 3 3.333 58 5 4 3 4
27 3 4 4 3.667 59 5 4 4 4.333
28 3 4 5 4 60 5 4 5 4.667
29 3 5 2 3.333 61 5 5 2 4
30 3 5 3 3.667 62 5 5 3 4.333
31 3 5 4 4 63 5 5 4 4.667
32 3 5 5 4.333 64 5 5 5 5
Observe that
 No x is exactly . However most are close to (or cluster around) .
 In this case,
( )
10 5
P 3
64 32
X < = = . Can you writedown the sampling distribution of
X ?
2011 SH2 H2 Mathematics 24
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