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Published byAidan Sparks Modified over 2 years ago

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The Pigeon hole problem

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If k+1 objects are placed in k containers then one container must contain at least 2 objects Obviously!

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The generalised pigeon hole principle If n objects are placed in k containers, then at least one container has n/k objects Note: x is the smallest integer greater than or equal to x i.e. round up (example: becomes 4 )

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If n objects placed in k containers, then at least one container has n/k objects Given 100 people in a room, what is the minimum number of people that are born on the same month? example 100/12 = = 9 What are the pigeonholes? What are the pigeons? What do we know? What can we think of?

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If n objects placed in k containers, then at least one container has n/k objects What is the minimum number of students required to be sure that at least 6 will receive the same grades, of A, B, C, D, and F (fail!) example students/5 = 6 students = 26 5 containers: the marks A, B, C, D, F At least 1 container has to have at least 6 students Did you think the answer should have been 30?

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More pigeon hole examples!

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example You are in a room with 10 other people. There at least two people in the room who know (are friendly with) the same number of people in the room. Is this true? What do we know … about knowing people? Its a pigeonhole problem … So what are the pigeonholes? What are the pigeons?

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exampleYou are in a room with 10 other people. There at least two people in the room who know the same number of people in the room If A knows (is friendly with) B then B knows (is friendly with) A The pigeonholes are the number of people a person knows The pigeonholes are then as follows 0 people who know nobody 1 people who know only 1 person 2 people who know 2 people … 10 people who know 10 people But wait! It aint possible to have someone who knows ten people at the same time as there is someone in the room that knows nobody! So, there can only be 10 pigeonholes! There are 11 people So, its true! What do we know … about knowing people? Its a pigeonhole problem … So what are the pigeonholes? What are the pigeons?

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exercise Let d be a positive integer greater than zero. Show that amongst d+1 (not necessarily consecutive) integers there are at least two with the same remainder when divided by d. Note: do not assume these integers are all different

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exercise Let d be a positive integer greater than zero. Show that amongst d+1 (not necessarily consecutive) integers there are at least two with the same remainder when divided by d. the pigeon holes are the remainders there are at most d remainders 0,1,2,…,d-1 there are d+1 numbers these are our pigeons since we have d+1 numbers and d remainders at least 2 have the same remainder

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example A bowl contains 10 red and 10 blue balls. A blindfolded woman selects balls at random, without replacement. (a) How many balls must she select to be sure of getting at least 3 balls of the same colour? we have 2 colours, red and blue these are our pigeon holes at least one pigeon hole must have at least 3 pigeons (coloured balls!) using the generalised pigeon hole principle n/k = 3 where n is the smallest number of pigeons required where k is the number of pigeon holes n/2 = 3 n = 5 note, we were not constrained by the number of balls!

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exercise A bowl contains 10 red and 10 blue balls. A blindfolded woman selects balls at random, without replacement. (b) How many balls must she select to be sure of getting at least 3 blue balls?

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exercise A bowl contains 10 red and 10 blue balls. A blindfolded woman selects balls at random, without replacement. (b) How many balls must she select to be sure of getting at least 3 blue balls? again, the colours correspond to our pigeon holes we have 2 pigeonholes she could select 10 red balls one after the other so she would then need to select 3 more therefore she must select 13 to be sure of getting 3 blue balls! Note: in this case it did matter that we started with 10 of each colour

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