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April 5th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #1
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Which probability distribution is appropriate?

Let's say you're investigating the amount of customers sitting in a small restaurant at certain times. Normal distribution should not be satisfactory because intuitively it seems like the right tail should be longer than the left tail which is limited by the fact that the amount of customers can't be negative. So the distribution should be asymmetrical.

Should I use a discrete distribution like poisson? Can I use continuous distributions like F-distribution? In my studies I have mainly learned normal distribution but now I need to find confidence intervals using a more exact distribution. Since my text books are quite introductory and not very clear on this subject, could you please point me to some source explaining the relevant distribution(s)?

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April 5th, 2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Which probability distribution is appropriate?

I'd start with the Erlang distribution and tweak as needed.
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April 12th, 2011, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: Which probability distribution is appropriate?

Thank you!

Hopefully, it won't matter since I discovered the central limit theorem, but I might come back to haunt you with follow up questions.

Until then, cheers!
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