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 Waiting, waiting... (Posted on 2004-08-07)
You are outside a well known restaurant, waiting in queue, with 18 couples in front of you. You know there are forty tables inside, and you think an average meal will take one hour.

How long will you have to wait, on average?

PS. This problem comes from queueing theory, but you don't have to know anything about it to find the answer!

 Submitted by Federico Kereki Rating: 3.2857 (7 votes) Solution: (Hide) The rate of people getting in should equate the rate of people coming out. If a meal takes one hour, in that time 40 tables would be emptied, so on average a couple would enter every 90 seconds. As you came in a random moment, the first couple will have to wait, on average, 45 seconds. The next 17 couples will wait 90 seconds each, and you'll have another 90 seconds to wait -- all together, 27 minutes and 45 seconds.

Comments: ( You must be logged in to post comments.)
 Subject Author Date Realistically Jer 2015-06-16 08:57:44 answer K Sengupta 2007-11-16 04:54:56 Is this right? nikki 2004-08-11 16:52:24 Funny Ha Ha S 2004-08-10 19:40:11 Why 19/40 doesn't make sense Bon 2004-08-09 21:55:24 Full Solution Bon 2004-08-09 21:38:57 re(3): a thought Bon 2004-08-09 19:45:29 re(2): a thought SilverKnight 2004-08-09 16:54:51 re: a thought Charlie 2004-08-09 16:19:49 a thought SilverKnight 2004-08-09 14:40:35 simulation Charlie 2004-08-09 14:15:16 re: Solution (Maybe) Nosher 2004-08-08 22:22:51 To VLV and Mike Juggler 2004-08-08 04:38:04 To VLV and Mike Juggler 2004-08-08 04:38:04 !!! Vee-Liem Veefessional 2004-08-08 03:32:35 re: Solution (Maybe) mike 2004-08-08 00:03:55 Where I went wrong Tristan 2004-08-07 12:35:59 Slightly different solution Tristan 2004-08-07 12:18:59 Solution (Maybe) Juggler 2004-08-07 11:44:41
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