#### Statistical Glossary

**Poisson Process:**

A Poisson process is a random function U(t) which describes the number of random events in an interval [0,t] of time or space.

The random events have the properties that (i) the probability of an event during a very small interval from t to t + h is rh, (ii) the probability of more than one event during such a time interval is negligible, (iii) the probability of an event during such a time interval does not depend on what happened prior to time t. The constant r here is the rate of events - that is, the average number of events on a unit interval.

The distribution of a Poisson process at time t is the Poisson distribution with its parameter l equal to rt.

If the symbols do not display properly, try

the graphic version of this page