Saturday, April 14, 2007

How to Catch a lion

Problem: To catch a lion in the Sahara desert

Reading Lion Catching Theory developed so far, I tried to come up with a few
methods of my own based on theoretical computer science.

The PCP method:
Ask an experienced (but untrustworthy) hunter to deliver the lion in a cage.
Convert the lion into a PCP. Now it is enough to stick 3 random fingers in the
cage and have them bitten off to be reasonably sure it is a lion.

The Conditonal Probabilites method:
We start by standing in the middle of the Sahara. At each phase, we either take a step to the right or a step to the left depending on which one will increase or at least preserve our success probability. Since it is possible to safely catch a lion in the Sahara with odds of at least one to a trillion, assuming the lion does not move while we are calculating, we are guaranteed to end up with a lion in the cage.

The arithmetization method:
The lion's action range in the Sahara: {Running fast, Eating a Lion hunter}
can be thought of as embedded into a larger range.
Now we can extend the lion from the Sahara to the entire southern hemisphere.
Going south enough the lion is slow and indifferent in the cold climate and can be easily catched.

I hope everybody is now convinced that it requires at least an MSc in theoretical computer science to safely travel around the world.


Ran (Neko) said...

The nondeterministic method
Take a step north and south and east and west all at the same time, repeat until lion found.

The quantum computer method
Close your eyes. If the lion has n places it could be in, then it is 1/n right next to you. Amplify to be sure you get it with negligible probability of failure.

The human computation method:
Make it into a "find the lion!" game, make a nice homepage, then get people to pay you 4.99$ a month in exchange of trying to catch the lion for you.

Ariel Gabizon said...

Nice! I like the human computation one the best.

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