## Probability and Computing: Chapter 2 Exercises (Cont. 1)

Exercise 2.14: The geometric distribution arise as the distribution of the number of times we flip a coin until it comes up heads. Consider now the distribution of the number of flips $X$ until the $k$th head appears, where each coin flip comes up heads independently with probability $p$. Prove that this distribution is given by

$Pr(X=n) = \binom{n-1}{k-1}p^{k}(1-p)^{n-k}$

for $n \geq k$. (This is known as the negative binomial distribution.)

The formula comes naturally when we consider the probability exactly $k-1$ heads happen in a sequence of $n-1$ flips(the last $n$th flip is heads).

Exercise 2.15: For a coin that comes up with head independently with probability $p$ on each flip, what is the expected number of flips until the $k$th heads?

Let $X$ be the number of flips until the $k$th heads.
We can solve this exercise by using the definition formula of expectation:

$E[X]=\sum_{i=1}^{\infty}iPr(X=i) = \sum_{i=1}^{\infty}i\binom{i-1}{k-1}p^{k}(1-p)^{i-k}$,

but there is another way to work around it.
Let $X_{i}$ be the number of flips needed to get the $i$th heads when we already had exactly $i-1$ heads. Clearly $X=\sum_{i=1}^{k}X_{i}$.
Each $X_{i}$ is a geometric random variable with parameter $p$. So we have:
$E[X_{i}]=\frac{1}{p}$.
The linearity of expectations yields:
$E[X]=E[\sum_{i=1}^{k}X_{i}]=\sum_{i=1}^{k}E[X_{i}]=\sum_{i=1}^{k}\frac{1}{p}=\frac{k}{p}$.

Exercise 2.16: Suppose we flip a coin $n$ times to obtain a sequence of flips $X_{1},X_{2},\ldots ,X_{n}$. A streak of flips is a consecutive subsequence of flips that are all the same. For example, if $X_{3}$, $X_{4}$, and $X_{5}$ are all heads, there is a streak of length $3$ starting at the third flip.(If $X_{6}$ is also heads, then there is also a streak of length $4$ starting at the third flip.)

(a) Let $n$ be a power of $2$. Show that the expected number of streaks of length $log_{2}n+1$ is $1-o(1)$.

(b) Show that, for sufficiently large $n$, the probability that there is no streak of length at least $\lfloor log_{2}n-2log_{2}log_{2}n \rfloor$ is less than $1/n$.(Hint: Break the sequence of flips up into disjoint blocks of $\lfloor log_{2}n-2log_{2}log_{2}n\rfloor$ consecutive flips, and use that the event that one block is a streak is independent of the even that any other block is a streak.)

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