The Poisson distribution is a probability distribution. It is named after Siméon Denis Poisson who discovered it in 1838. It measures the probability that a certain number of events occur within a certain period of time. The events need to be unrelated to each other. They also need to occur with a known average rate.
Examples of this distribution are:
- The numbers of cars that pass on a certain road in a certain time.
- The number of telephone calls a call center receives per minute.
- The number of light bulbs that burn out (fail) in a certain amount of time.
- The number of mutations in a given stretch of DNA after a certain amount of radiation.
- The number of errors that occur in a system.
- The number of Property & Casualty insurance claims experienced in a given period of time.