[seqfan] Re: Probability of identical sequences
Fred Lunnon
fred.lunnon at gmail.com
Mon Jan 20 18:13:23 CET 2020
I initially ignored this thread on the grounds that the question
was incapable of precise mathematical formulation. But today I
came across the following, which suggests my judgement may
have been premature:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithmic_probability
Googling << Algorithmic Probability Universal Distribution >>
turns up several papers on this topic, aka "Solomonoff probability".
WFL
On 1/18/20, jean-paul allouche <jean-paul.allouche at imj-prg.fr> wrote:
> Hi
>
> IMHO trying to work with "probabilities" would be a dead end for this
> question.
> May be what might be slightly more interesting is a kind of "distance"
> between sequences.
> Two identical sequences should be at distance zero, while two very
> different sequences
> should have a large distance between them.
> To emphasize your suggestion that sequences coinciding on terms like
> 14356, 78098,
> 342789, 679838, 329019 are closer than sequences coinciding on 2, 4, 6,
> 10, 14, 22, 30,
> one could define a "distance" between the first N values of sequences
> (u_n)_n and (v_n)_n
> by say \sum_{1 \leq n \leq N} |u_n - v_n|^2. If these values keep being
> small (or even zero)
> when N grows, this would definitely mean that the sequences are "close"
> in some sense.
> Of course this would not say anything for sequences coinciding on N
> terms about the
> "chances" that they coincide further. But possibly "extending
> coincidences" would be defined
> either "psychologically" as said previously, or through an a priori
> condition on the type of
> sequences (à la Zeilberger, within a given framework two infinite
> sequences are equal as
> soon as they coincide on a small number of initial terms); this last
> point will certainly not
> work in the most general case, given the diversity of the sequences in
> the OEIS.
>
> best
> jpa
>
> Le 16/01/2020 à 04:19, Ali Sada via SeqFan a écrit :
>> Hi Everyone,
>>
>> Thank you again for your responses.
>> The two options of 1 and 0 happen only if we have a definitive answer. The
>> probability is 1 if we can prove the connection, and 0 if we can find a
>> counter example. But that's not the case all the time.
>>
>> My question was not about randomness. I don’t think that randomness is an
>> element in the OEIS sequences. The OEIS has less then 400,000 sequences
>> carefully selected based on specific mathematical algorithms. The
>> sequences belong to different categories, but they are not random.
>>
>> I would respectfully disagree with Frank’s comment. I think looking at the
>> “odds” is an important factor if we want to decide whether to study
>> potential connections between two sequences or not.
>>
>> The deciding factors include, but not limited to:
>>
>> 1) The number of similar terms. Obviously we would be more inclined to
>> find connection between two sequences that share 50 terms rather than
>> sequences that share 10 terms.
>>
>> 2) The values of the identical terms. Even if the two sequences share
>> only five terms, for example, we would be more interested if those term
>> were 14356, 78098, 342789, 679838, 329019. We won’t be that interested if
>> the five terms were 2, 4, 7, 9 ,11.
>>
>> 3) The type of algorithms or concepts that produced the two sequences.
>> If we were studying partitions and we somehow get these terms 2, 4, 6, 10,
>> 14, 22, 30 it wouldn’t be big surprise. However, if we get the same terms
>> while we were working on prime numbers, then we would definitely pay more
>> attention to connection.
>>
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Ali
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 9:12:04 PM EST, Frank Adams-watters
>> via SeqFan <seqfan at list.seqfan.eu> wrote:
>>
>> If we find 50 or 100 identical terms at the start of two sequences with
>> different definitions, this is an invitation for further study, The object
>> is to either:
>>
>> 1) Find a difference, or
>>
>> 2) Prove that the sequences are the same.
>>
>> (2) is the more interesting possibility. But until one or the other of
>> these can be shown, it is incomplete. (There is always the possibility
>> that it will stay undecided, of course.)
>>
>> In other words, who cares what the odds are? This is mathematics. We care
>> about proofs, not probabilities.*
>>
>> Franklin T. Adams-Watters
>>
>> * Of course, there are exceptions, the only one I can think of
>> beingprobable primes.
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ali Sada via SeqFan <seqfan at list.seqfan.eu>
>> To: Sequence Fanatics Discussion list <seqfan at list.seqfan.eu>
>> Cc: Ali Sada <pemd70 at yahoo.com>
>> Sent: Tue, Jan 14, 2020 6:57 pm
>> Subject: [seqfan] Re: Probability of identical sequences
>>
>> Thank you very much Sean, Frank, Robert, and David for your responses. I
>> really appreciate the knowledge I got from them.
>>
>> When I mentioned A073675, it was just to say why I thought of the
>> question.
>>
>> Let’s take these different cases:
>>
>> Case 1
>> Suppose that the two sequences defined based on different concepts. Let’s
>> say that A1 is “the number of steps to reach x when iterating…..”, and B1
>> is “number of partitions of n into distinct ….”
>> The two definitions come from totally different concepts, and they require
>> different algorithm to calculate. Assume that we calculated k1 terms and
>> we found those terms to be identical.
>> Statement 1: A1=B1.
>>
>> Cases 2 and 3:
>> Define the following “original” sequence: a(1)=1; a(n)=S/p, where
>> S=a(n-1)+n, and p is the least prime factor of S.
>> This is the sequence we get:
>> 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 4, 4, 1, 1, 4, 8, 3, 1, 8, 8, 5, 1, 4, 8, 1, 1, 8, 16,
>> 1, 9, 12, 8, 1, 1, 16, 16, 7, 1, 12, 16, 1
>>
>> The observations here is that the first appearances of powers of 2 and
>> powers of 3 are in order
>> (assume that we cannot prove these observations.)
>>
>> Now, define A2 as “powers of 2 in the original sequence in order of their
>> first appearances.”
>> We get 1, 2, 4, 8, 16,….
>> B2 is the powers of 2, A000079.
>> Statement 2: A2=B2.
>>
>> A3 is “powers of 3 in in the original sequence in order of their first
>> appearances.”
>> We get 1,3,9,27,.
>> B3 is powers of 3, A000244.
>> Statement 3: A3=B3.
>>
>> If we calculate k terms of the original sequence, we will get k2 terms
>> that are in line with statement 2, and k3 terms that are in line with
>> statement 3. k2 is larger than k3.
>>
>> It seems to me that statement 2 and statement 3 have the same probability
>> of being true, even if k2>k3.
>> While, statement 1 seems less probable, even if k1>k2.
>>
>> I am sorry for the long email. The reason for this is that I am not
>> familiar with the right technical terms.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Ali
>>
>>
>>
>> On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 7:30:12 AM EST, David Seal
>> <david.j.seal at gwynmop.com> wrote:
>>
>> > If we have two sequences, A and B, with different definitions.
>> However,
>>> when we calculate k terms for each sequence, all of these terms are
>>> identical. If we can’t prove that definition A equals to definition B,
>>> what’s the probability that A and B are identical?
>> It's not defined - you need to specify the distribution of the sequence
>> definitions for the probability to exist.
>>
>> An analogy: what is the probability that two numbers in the range 0-5 are
>> the same? The answer is that it's undefined, because the question doesn't
>> specify the distribution of the numbers. One could specify it in the
>> question, and then the answer would be defined - two possible forms of
>> that question are:
>>
>> * "What is the probability that two numbers in the range 0-5 generated by
>> throwing a fair die and subtracting 1 from the result are the same?" The
>> answer to that question is (1/6)^2 + (1/6)^2 + (1/6)^2 + (1/6)^2 + (1/6)^2
>> + (1/6)^2 = 0.16666...
>>
>> * "What is the probability that two numbers in the range 0-5 generated by
>> tossing five fair coins and counting the number of heads are the same?"
>> The answer to that question is (1/32)^2 + (5/32)^2 + (10/32)^2 + (10/32)^2
>> + (5/32)^2 + (1/32)^2 = 0.24609375.
>>
>> Clearly with the answer depending on which of those two distributions of
>> the numbers (or many other possibilities) is being asked about, it's going
>> to be undefined if the question doesn't specify the distribution. And
>> unfortunately, assuming one wants the distribution to have the property
>> that for any reasonable outcome, it has a nonzero chance of generating
>> that outcome, it's a lot harder to specify a well-defined distribution of
>> sequence definitions than a well-defined distribution of numbers in the
>> range 0-5.
>>
>> David
>>
>>
>>> On 13 January 2020 at 19:06 Ali Sada via SeqFan <seqfan at list.seqfan.eu>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>> Hi Everyone,
>>>
>>> If we have two sequences, A and B, with different definitions. However,
>>> when we calculate k terms for each sequence, all of these terms are
>>> identical. If we can’t prove that definition A equals to definition B,
>>> what’s the probability that A and B are identical? Is it zero, since we
>>> are dealing with infinite terms? Or is it a function of k?
>>>
>>> This question came to me when I was trying this algorithm: Exchange n and
>>> 2n. Each term gets changed only once.
>>> a(1)=2 and a(2)=1.
>>> a(3)=6 and a(6)=3
>>> etc.
>>> The sequence I got was
>>> 2, 1, 6, 8, 10, 3, 14, 4, 18, 5, 22, 24, 26, 7, 30, 32, 34, 9, 38, 40,
>>> 42, 11, 46, 12, 50, 13
>>>
>>> This sequence seems identical to A073675 (Rearrangement of natural
>>> numbers such that a(n) is the smallest proper divisor of n not included
>>> earlier but if no such divisor exists then a(n) is the smallest proper
>>> multiple of n not included earlier, subject always to the condition that
>>> a(n) is not equal to n.)
>>>
>>> This example might not reflect my question above exactly. I am just
>>> trying to show why I asked the question.
>>>
>>> Best,
>>>
>>> Ali
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Seqfan Mailing list - http://list.seqfan.eu/
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