My Math Forum Prior probability of selecting an alphabet character puzzler

 October 5th, 2009, 03:01 AM #1 Newbie   Joined: Oct 2009 Posts: 1 Thanks: 0 Prior probability of selecting an alphabet character puzzler Hi, I have a mathematical problem that I'm working on and I was hoping someone might be able to help. I'm trying to find the probability of selecting any letter from the alphabet, given a 'prior probability' (I think that's what it is anyway). So here are my figures. 13062 characters were hit on a keyboard and here is what was found: a has 938 occurrences b has 9 occurrences c has 1 occurrences d has 2 occurrences f has 7 occurrences g has 582 occurrences h has 56 occurrences j has 105 occurrences k has 3 occurrences l has 43 occurrences m has 24 occurrences n has 16 occurrences p has 3 occurrences q has 1304 occurrences s has 9925 occurrences v has 44 occurrences All the other characters were not hit. So, we can see there is a preference for some characters (e.g. s, a, g, etc) over others (e.g. e, i, o, r, etc - which were never selected). What I want to do is simulate the selection of more characters (a-z), and have that selection follow the pattern of the above characters, but also allow for the chance of a character that isn't hit in the list above to be included. From doing some reading, I suspect that I will have to apply some sort of Bayesian approach, but don't know if this is the case and wouldn't know how to do this anyway. A working example of how to work out the probability of a listed and unlisted character would also be REALLY appreciate! Any takers? Many thanks.

 Tags alphabet, character, prior, probability, puzzler, selecting

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