Pigeon Probability Problem

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Pigeon Probability Problem

Postby eligitine » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:53 pm UTC

I've been thinking about this for the past few days now, and whatever formula I come up with always fails after a relatively low number. The problem is this:

A button has a 1 in 100 chance of sounding a siren, independent from any other presses. k pigeons are lined in a row, with a button in front of each. All buttons are pressed by the pigeons simultaneously at once per second. When the siren sounds, all pigons will fly away and the buttons will be no longer pressed. After n seconds, what is the chance the pigeons will be still there?

Is there a formula to solve the problem? This is not homework, It has just been bothering me immensely ever since it popped into my mind.
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Re: Pigeon Probability Problem

Postby zmic » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:17 pm UTC

(0.99)^(k.n) ?
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Re: Pigeon Probability Problem

Postby Dopefish » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:31 pm UTC

Lets see...

I would think that k pigeons pushing the button at the same time is equivalent to 1 pigeon pushing the button k times in a row (in under 1 second), unless theres some detail I'm forgetting. That would mean...

Spoiler:
The probability of the siren not going off after k pushes would be .99^k, so for n seconds it'd be (.99^k)^n or .99^(k*n)


This goes along with the result zmic gave, so it seems like it works.
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Re: Pigeon Probability Problem

Postby SixMileDrive » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:46 am UTC

(.99^k)^n=.99^(kn)

Above posters are correct.
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