Ad Nihil here presents an interesting-looking game demonstrating something I hadn’t heard of before, Parrondo’s Paradox, which apparently is a phenomenon in which a combination of losing strategies becomes a winning strategy. I do want to think about this more, so I offer the link to that blog’s report so that I hopefully will go back and consider it more when I’m able.

My inspiration with my daughter’s 8^{th} grade probability problems continues. In a previous post I worked on a hypothetical story of monitoring all communications for security with a Bayesian analysis approach. This time when I saw the spinning wheel problems in her text book, I was yet again inspired to create a game system to demonstrate Parrondo’s Paradox.

*“Parrondo’s paradox, a paradox in game theory, has been described as: A combination of losing strategies becomes a winning strategy. It is named after its creator, Juan Parrondo, who discovered the paradox in 1996.” –* Wikipedia.org

Simply put, with certain (not all) combinations, you may create an overall winning strategy by playing different losing scenarios alternatively in the long run. Here’s the game system I came up with this (simpler than the original I believe):

Let’s imagine a spinning wheel like below, divided into eight equal parts with 6 parts red…

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Upon a careful reading of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parrondo%27s_paradox , I don’t think this is an actual example of Parrondo’s Paradox. Most Parrondo’s Paradox examples refer to “Game A loses me money based on random probability, Game B loses me money based on a modulo of how much money I have. Game A loses alone, Game B loses alone, but do games A and B in a pattern and the modulo of money is affected and you end up winning.”

What’s given here is a Situation in which a double negative becomes a positive. You’re no longer playing Game A (losing by probability) and Game B (losing by probability), you’re playing Game AxB, which has a next winning payout.

–Chi

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Perhaps. I haven’t had the chance to sit and think this through; this weekend I hope to do so.

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