DEFINITION of 'Discrete Distribution'

The statistical or probabilistic properties of observable (either finite or countably infinite) pre-defined values. Unlike a continuous distribution, which has an infinite number of outcomes, a discrete distribution is characterized by a limited number of possible observations. Discrete distribution is frequently used in statistical modeling and computer programming.

Also known as a "discrete probability distribution".

BREAKING DOWN 'Discrete Distribution'

Examples of discrete probability distributions include binomial distribution (with a finite set of values) and Poisson distribution (with an countably infinite set of values). The concept of probability distrubtions and the random variables they describe are the underpinnnings of probability theory and statistical analysis.

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