Basic Description

The Excel CRITBINOM function returns the inverse of the Cumulative Binomial Distribution. I.e. for a specific number of independent trials, the function returns the smallest value (number of successes) for which the cumulative binomial distribution is greater than or equal to a criterion value. For example, the Critbinom function could be used to find the smallest number of tosses of a coin for which there is a 50% chance of at least 20 heads.

Syntax: CRITBINOM( trials, probability_s, alpha )

where the arguments are :

The number of independent trials that are to be done

(If this value is a decimal, it is truncated to an integer by Excel)

probability_s The probability of success in one trial
alpha The criterion value of the Cumulative Binomial Distribution (must be between 0 and 1)


Binomial Cumulative Distribution Function Chart

Cumulative Distribution Function for the Toss of a Coin in 100 Trials


Critbinom Function Example

The chart on the right shows the Cumulative Binomial Distribution Function for 100 tosses of a coin. This curve represents the probability that at most x heads will be thrown from the 100 tosses. The Excel Critbinom function calculates the inverse of the curve on the right. I.e. the Critbinom function calculates the minimum value of x for which the Cumulative Binomial Distribution function is a specified value. This is shown in the spreadsheets below, for three different criterion values.


Examples of use of the Excel Critbinom Function


Excel Critbinom Function Results


Critbinom Function Common Errors

If you get an error from the Excel Critbinom Function, this is likely to be one of the following:

#NUM! Occurs if either the supplied trials argument is < 0 or the supplied probability_s argument is < 0 or > 1 or the supplied alpha argument is < 0 or > 1
#VALUE! Occurs if any of the supplied arguments are nonnumeric

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