I think this is primarily a terminology question, so if I get some words wrong, please correct me on that. Oh, and I may not be getting the core concept correctly either. But I’m sure that once I know the word I’m looking for, it’ll be easier for me to read up on it. Google helps those who use the right vocabulary.
What is it called, when you collect all possible rolls from a specific group of dice? For example: I’m analyzing the probabilities of rolling all possible numbers from 3 6-sided dice (i.e. 3d6). I see that there is one way of getting a 3 (1 and 1 and 1), 3 ways of getting a 4 (1 and 1 and 2, 1 and 2 and 1, 2 and 1 and 1), and so on. I’m looking at all possible… whatchamacallits? When you’re done (and depending upon the number of dice), you can plot the data and get a nice bell-shaped curve.
I think that the word I’m looking for is “permutations”, except I had the impression that permutations dealt with possible orderings of a set of items, rather than possible outcomes of a sequence of random events. Perhaps the word I’m looking for is “distribution”? “Histogram” keeps popping up too, but I’m not sure it’s appropriate in this context.
Both the Wikipedia entry and the Mathworld entry on dice show diagrams of what I’m looking for, but the language starts to get over my head. I get similar results looking through my old college textbooks from statistics and discrete mathematics.
Oh, I got a B and an A in those classes, repsectively …but I haven’t retained much. :wally