In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, HERC777 <email@example.com> wrote: <At time 0 there are 0 people flipping coins. <At time 1/2 there is 1 person flipping coins at t=1/2, t=3/4, t=7/8... <At time 3/4 there is another person flipping coins at t=3/4, t=7/8, <t=15/16.. <At time 7/8 another person joins in flipping coins... <and so on... < <At time t = 1, Herc starts flipping coins at t=1, t=2, t=3, t=4, t=5... < <How long does Herc flip out for until it is recognised he is unique <from all of the masses?
Nice one! If we try to answer this in the same way as before, by defining the answer to be the expected length of the longest prefix match, then we find ourselves trying to evaluate (among other things)
(probability of a complete match) * (length of a complete match).
The probability of a complete match is zero, and the length of a complete match is infinite. There isn't a good way of defining 0 * infinity, so the expected value is undefined. -- Tim Chow tchow-at-alum-dot-mit-dot-edu The range of our projectiles---even ... the artillery---however great, will never exceed four of those miles of which as many thousand separate us from the center of the earth. ---Galileo, Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences