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Hawks and Doves (Posted on 2004-09-13) Difficulty: 3 of 5
Whenever a hawk meets a dove, the dove is killed. Whenever two hawks meet, they fight to death, and both are killed. And if two doves meet, nothing bad happens.

There are H hawks and D doves, and you are either a hawk or a dove. Assuming that meetings are random, what are your chances of survival?

See The Solution Submitted by Federico Kereki    
Rating: 3.5000 (2 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
re: not much of a clue here | Comment 16 of 22 |
(In reply to not much of a clue here by michael)

You are right.

I checked the theoretical result in my comment yesterday by means of simulation in Visual Basic. My theoretical answer is wrong. The simulations showed that on average (D/H) doves survive the situation with an even number of hawks. That means that one dove has a (D/H)/D = (1/H) change of survival, which equals the chance of survival for one hawk in case of an odd number of hawks.

Given the fact that an even number of hawks is as likely as an odd number the chance of survival is generally spoken (1/2H) for each bird.

Can you help me with explaining why on average (D/H) doves remain for the situation with an even number of birds? My theoretical reasoning was totally wrong. Where did I go wrong?

Kind regards,




  Posted by Matthijs on 2004-09-17 08:10:52
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