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JENGA and other wooden block games Uri Zwick Tel Aviv University.

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Presentation on theme: "JENGA and other wooden block games Uri Zwick Tel Aviv University."— Presentation transcript:

1 JENGA and other wooden block games Uri Zwick Tel Aviv University

2

3 JENGA A real-life game with a surprisingly simple analysis. We consider, of course, an idealized version of the game. Many interesting open problems. Purely of recreational value.

4 JENGA JENGA is a very popular game!

5 JENGA The rules of the game JENGA – The rules of the game The game starts with an alternating n-story tower of wooden blocks, three at each level. In the real-life game, n=18.

6 JENGA The rules of the game JENGA – The rules of the game Each player, in her turn, removes a block from anywhere below the highest completed level and stacks it on top. The player that topples the tower loses.

7 Who wins? How?

8 Instability Everything else is stable!

9 Implications Top most level, or the level just below it, is always full. The tower is stable, unless it contains the forbidden level: Two towers that differ only in the order of the levels are equivalent!

10 Possible Moves *2 0 0 *1

11 Configurations (x,y,z) x - # of full levels y - # of levels with two adjacent blocks z - # of blocks on top. x=2y=6z=2 x≥0 y≥0 0≤z<3

12 Possible Moves (x,y,z) (x-1,y,z+1) (x,y,z) (x-1,y+1,z+1) (x,y-1,z+1) I-I -II -I- (x,y,3) → (x+1,y,0)

13 Analysis I

14 Analysis II

15 Solution

16 Nim values of JENGA

17 Optimal Moves

18 JENGA JENGA is a win for the first player iff n  1,2(mod 3) and n≥2.

19 What next?

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21 JENGA JENGA - Truth or Dare

22 Who wins in JENGA Who wins in JENGA k ? k=5

23 JENGA JENGA 2k is a win for the second player! A simple symmetry argument.

24 Some interesting JENGA 5 positions *15 *17

25 Which towers are stable?

26 “Simple” towers The center of gravity of each upper part of the tower should be above the area of contact between the upper and lower parts of the tower

27 Does this hold for more general towers? Of course NOT!

28 Is this simple necessary condition sufficient for JENGA k towers? YES, for k=3,4 and 6. NO, otherwise.

29 Unstable JENGA 5 towers

30 Rigid body in equilibrium

31 Forces acting on towers

32 Equivalent systems of forces

33 Stability and linear programming A tower is weakly stable if and only if its corresponding linear program is feasible. A tower is stable if and only if its corresponding linear has a strictly positive feasible point.

34 Simple Variations of JENGA Remove a block from anywhere and put it anywhere on the top level. If the top level is full, then start a new level. Remove a block from anywhere and put it anywhere on top, or start a new level. If a block from the top level is removed, then it must start a new level.

35 More complicated variations of JENGA Remove a block from anywhere, and put it anywhere higher. (Filling in gaps is allowed.) Remove a block, or slide it outward by a multiple of 1/k of the length of a block. If a block is completely removed, then put it anywhere on top.

36 Free Play JENGA k JENGA kRemove a block from anywhere, and put it in an arbitrary position at the top level, or start a new level, not necessarily in one of the fixed k positions of standard JENGA k games.

37 More basic open problems JENGA k Which positions in JENGA k are: REACHABLE? CONSTRUCTIBLE? SCULPTUREABLE?


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