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Random variable

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Definition of Random variable

Random Variable Image 1

Random variable

A function that assigns a real number to each and every possible outcome of a random experiment.



Related Terms:

Continuous random variable

A random value that can take any fractional value within specified ranges, as
contrasted with a discrete variable.


Discrete random variable

A random variable that can take only a certain specified set of discrete possible
values - for example, the positive integers 1, 2, 3, . . .


Normal random variable

A random variable that has a normal probability distribution.


Correlation coefficient

A standardized statistical measure of the dependence of two random variables,
defined as the covariance divided by the standard deviations of two variables.


Covariance

A statistical measure of the degree to which random variables move together.



Cumulative probability distribution

A function that shows the probability that the random variable will
attain a value less than or equal to each value that the random variable can take on.


Mean

The expected value of a random variable.


Random Variable Image 2

Normal probability distribution

A probability distribution for a continuous random variable that is forms a
symmetrical bell-shaped curve around the mean.


Probability density function

The probability function for a continuous random variable.


Probability distribution

Also called a probability function, a function that describes all the values that the random variable can
take and the probability associated with each.


Regression toward the mean

The tendency for subsequent observations of a random variable to be closer to its mean.


Stochastic

Involving or containing a random variable or variables; involving
chance or probability.


decision variable

an unknown item for which a linear programming
problem is being solved


dependent variable

an unknown variable that is to be predicted
using one or more independent variables


Endogenous variable

A value determined within the context of a model.


Exogenous variable

A variable whose value is determined outside the model in which it is used. Also called
a parameter.


independent variable

a variable that, when changed, will
cause consistent, observable changes in another variable;
a variable used as the basis of predicting the value of a
dependent variable


key variable

a critical factor that management believes will
be a direct cause of the achievement or nonachievement
of the organizational goals and objectives



Random-location storage

The technique of storing incoming inventory in any
available location, which is then tracked in a locator file.


Random walk

Theory that stock price changes from day to day are at random; the changes are independent
of each other and have the same probability distribution. Many believers of the random walk theory believe
that it is impossible to outperform the market consistently without taking additional risk.


random walk theory

Security prices change randomly, with no predictable trends or patterns.


Randomized strategy

A strategy of introducing into the decision-making process a random element that is
designed to reduce the information content of the decision-maker's observed choices.


Semi-variable costs

Costs that have both fixed and variable components.


slack variable

a variable used in a linear programming problem
that represents the unused amount of a resource at
any level of operation; it is associated with less-than-orequal-
to constraints


surplus variable

a variable used in a linear programming problem that represents overachievement of a minimum requirement; it is associated with greater-than-or-equal-to constraints


Variable

A value determined within the context of a model. Also called endogenous variable.


Variable annuities

Annuity contracts in which the issuer pays a periodic amount linked to the investment
performance of an underlying portfolio.


Variable Annuity

A form of annuity policy under which the amount of each benefit is not guaranteed or specified. The amounts fluctuate according to the earnings of a separate investment account.



Variable cost

A cost that is directly proportional to the volume of output produced. When production is zero,
the variable cost is equal to zero.


Variable cost

A cost that increases or decreases in proportion with increases or decreases in the volume of production of goods or services.


variable cost

a cost that varies in total in direct proportion
to changes in activity; it is constant on a per unit basis


Variable cost

A cost that changes in amount in relation to changes in a related activity.
Variance
The difference between an actual measured result and a basis, such as a budgeted amount.


variable cost ratio

the proportion of each revenue dollar
represented by variable costs; computed as variable costs
divided by sales or as (1 - contribution margin ratio)


Variable costing

A method of costing in which only variable production costs are treated as product costs and in which all fixed (production and non-production) costs are treated as period costs.


variable costing

a cost accumulation and reporting method
that includes only variable production costs (direct material,
direct labor, and variable overhead) as inventoriable
or product costs; it treats fixed overhead as a period cost;
is not acceptable for external reporting and tax returns


variable costs

Costs that change as the level of output changes.


VARIABLE EXPENSES

Those that vary with the amount of goods you produce or sell. These may include utility bills, labor, etc.


variable expenses

Expenses that change with changes in either sales volume
or sales revenue, in contrast to fixed expenses that remain the same
over the short run and do not fluctuate in response to changes in sales
volume or sales revenue. See also revenue-driven expenses and unitdriven
expenses.


Variable life insurance policy

A whole life insurance policy that provides a death benefit dependent on the
insured's portfolio market value at the time of death. Typically the company invests premiums in common
stocks, and hence variable life policies are referred to as equity-linked policies.


variable overhead efficiency variance

the difference between budgeted variable overhead based on actual input activity and variable overhead applied to production


variable overhead spending variance

the difference between total actual variable overhead and the budgeted amount of variable overhead based on actual input activity


Variable price security

A security, such as stocks or bonds, that sells at a fluctuating, market-determined price.


Variable rate CDs

Short-term certificate of deposits that pay interest periodically on roll dates. On each roll
date, the coupon on the CD is adjusted to reflect current market rates.


Variable rate loan

Loan made at an interest rate that fluctuates based on a base interest rate such as the
Prime Rate or LIBOR.


Variable rated demand bond (VRDB)

Floating rate bond that can be sold back periodically to the issuer.


Correlation

The simultaneous change in value of two random numeric variables.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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