probability mass function


In statistics and probability, the probability mass function, abbreviated pmf, is a function that maps a discrete random variable to its probability. By convention, probability functions are denoted by lower case letters, often f. The pmf f for random variable would be f_X.

If X is a discrete random variable in a sample space S, then the probability mass function is defined as:

f_{X}(x) = P(X=x) = P({s \in S: X(s) = x})

Like any probability function, the output of the pmf is between 0 and 1 inclusive, and the sum of the probability mass function’s image, ie., the probability of the sample space, is 1.


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