[R-pkgs] prob package: elementary probability on finite sample spaces

G. Jay Kerns gkerns at ysu.edu
Thu Jan 10 13:40:46 CET 2008

Dear R Community,

I am pleased to announce the beta-release of the prob package.  The
source code is now on CRAN, and binaries should be generated there
before long. In the meantime, you can get it with

install.packages("prob", repos = "http://r-forge.r-project.org")

The prob package gives a framework for doing elementary probability on
finite sample spaces in R.  The primary notion of "probability space"
has been built around the data frame structure, both for simplicity
and to maximize compatibility with the R Commander by John Fox.

The package addresses an ample proportion of material in a typical
undergraduate course in elementary probability, or the probability
material in an introductory statistics course. For details, see

Since the focus is on sample/probability spaces, the prob package
could be used as a precursor to the more sophisticated distrxxx-family
of packages.


* construction of sample spaces (in the sense of 'prob' ) of various
kinds.  Some standard sample spaces are included (toss a coin, roll a
die, sample from an urn, draw cards, roulette, etc.)
* counting and the Multiplication Principle,
* subsets and events including methods for intersect, union, and
setdiff extending those in the base package,
* the prob function for finding probability and conditional
probability of events,
* simulation and relative frequencies,
* random variables, marginal distributions,
* extensions for more general sample spaces,
* discrete multivariate distributions with finite support,
* more...

Some discussion and examples can be found at the R-Forge prob project web page:


There are many avenues for future development/improvement;  all
suggestions and comments are welcomed.  I would appreciate hearing
about your experiences with it in the classroom and elsewhere.

The audience for this package would include teachers and students of
elementary probability, or simply anyone wanting to dabble with
probability on a finite sample space.


G. Jay Kerns, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor / Statistics Coordinator
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Youngstown State University
Youngstown, OH 44555-0002 USA
Office: 1035 Cushwa Hall
Phone: (330) 941-3310 Office (voice mail)
-3302 Department
-3170 FAX
E-mail: gkerns at ysu.edu

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