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      Randomisation in the Josephus Problem

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          Abstract

          The Josephus problem is a well--studied elimination problem consisting in determining the position of the survivor after repeated applications of a deterministic rule removing one person at a time from a given group. A natural probabilistic variant of this process is introduced in this paper. More precisely, in this variant, the survivor is determined after performing a succession of Bernouilli trials with parameter \(p\) designating each time the person to remove. When the number of participants tends to infinity, the main result characterises the limit distribution of the position of the survivor with an increasing degree of precision as the parameter approaches the unbiaised case \(p=1/2\). Then, the convergence rate to the position of the survivor is obtained in the form of a Central-Limit Theorem. A number of other variants of the suggested probabilistic elimination process are also considered. They each admit a specific limit behavior which, in most cases, is stated in the form of an open problem.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          26 March 2024
          Article
          2403.18110
          818179ec-9e0e-40c3-9c1e-825a1a694e8c

          http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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          Custom metadata
          math.PR math.CO math.NT

          Combinatorics,Probability,Number theory
          Combinatorics, Probability, Number theory

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