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13. The Poisson Process

Summary

The Poisson process is one of the most important random processes in probability theory. It is widely used to model random points in time and space, such as the times of radioactive emissions, the arrival times of customers at a service center, and the positions of flaws in a piece of material. Several important probability distributions arise naturally from the Poisson process--the Poisson distribution, the exponential distribution, and the gamma distribution. The process has a beautiful mathematical structure, and is used as a foundation for building a number of other, more complicated random processes.

Topics

  1. Introduction
  2. The Exponential Distribution
  3. The Gamma Distribution
  4. The Poisson Distribution
  5. Splitting a Poisson Process
  6. Bernoulli Trials and the Poisson Process
  7. Higher Dimensional Poisson Processes

Applets

External Resources

For more information about Poisson processes and their many generalizations, see