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Le Monde puzzle [#1036]

January 3, 2018
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Le Monde puzzle [#1036]

An arithmetic Le Monde mathematical puzzle to conclude 2017: Find (a¹,…,a¹³), a permutation of (1,…,13) such that a¹/a²+a³=a²+a³/a³+a⁴+a⁵=b¹<1 a⁶/a⁶+a⁷=a⁶+a⁷/a⁷+a⁸+a⁹=a⁷+a⁸+a⁹/a⁵+a⁹+a¹⁰=b²<1 a¹¹+a¹²/a¹²+a¹³=a¹²+a¹³/a¹³+a¹⁰=b³<1 The question can be solved by brute force simulation, checking all possible permutations of (1,…,13). But 13! is 6.6 trillion, a wee bit too many cases. Despite the problem being made of only four constraints […]

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correlation for maximal coupling

January 2, 2018
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correlation for maximal coupling

An interesting (if vaguely formulated) question on X validated: given two Gaussian variates that are maximally coupled, what is the correlation between these variates? The answer depends on the parameters of both Gaussian, with a correlation of one when both Gaussians are identical. Answering the question by simulation (as I could not figure out the […]

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cyclic riddle [not in NYC!]

December 28, 2017
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cyclic riddle [not in NYC!]

In the riddle of this week on fivethirtyeight, the question is to find the average number of rounds when playing the following game: P=6 players sitting in a circle each have B=3 coins and with probability 3⁻¹ they give one coin to their right or left side neighbour, or dump the coin to the centre. […]

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random wake

December 26, 2017
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random wake

Just too often on X validated, one sees questions displaying a complete ignorance of the basics that makes one purposelessly wonder what is the point of trying to implement advanced methods when missing the necessary background. And just as often, I reacted to the question by wondering out loud about this… In the current case, […]

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Le Monde puzzle [#1033]

December 18, 2017
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Le Monde puzzle [#1033]

A simple Le Monde mathematical puzzle after two geometric ones I did not consider: Bob gets a 2×3 card with three integer entries on the first row and two integer entries on the second row such that (i) entry (1,1) is 1, (ii) summing up subsets of adjacent entries produces all integers from 1 to […]

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sliced Wasserstein estimation of mixtures

November 27, 2017
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sliced Wasserstein estimation of mixtures

A paper by Soheil Kolouri and co-authors was arXived last week about using Wasserstein distance for inference on multivariate Gaussian mixtures. The basic concept is that the parameter is estimated by minimising the p-Wasserstein distance to the empirical distribution, smoothed by a Normal kernel. As the general Wasserstein distance is quite costly to compute, the […]

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Le Monde puzzle [#1029]

November 21, 2017
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Le Monde puzzle [#1029]

A convoluted counting Le Monde mathematical puzzle: A film theatre has a waiting room and several projection rooms. With four films on display. A first set of 600 spectators enters the waiting room and vote for their favourite film. The most popular film is projected to the spectators who voted for it and the remaining […]

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normal variates in Metropolis step

November 13, 2017
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normal variates in Metropolis step

A definitely puzzled participant on X validated, confusing the Normal variate or variable used in the random walk Metropolis-Hastings step with its Normal density… It took some cumulated efforts to point out the distinction. Especially as the originator of the question had a rather strong a priori about his or her background: “I take issue […]

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bridgesampling [R package]

November 8, 2017
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bridgesampling [R package]

Quentin F. Gronau, Henrik Singmann and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers have arXived a detailed documentation about their bridgesampling R package. (No wonder that researchers from Amsterdam favour bridge sampling!) [The package relates to a [52 pages] tutorial on bridge sampling by Gronau et al. that I will hopefully comment soon.] The bridge sampling methodology for marginal likelihood […]

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Le Monde [last] puzzle [#1026]

November 1, 2017
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Le Monde [last] puzzle [#1026]

The last and final Le Monde puzzle is a bit of a disappointment, to wit: A 4×4 table is filled with positive and different integers. A 3×3 table is then deduced by adding four adjacent [i.e. sharing a common corner] entries of the original table. Similarly with a 2×2 table, summing up to a unique […]

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