Who Buys The Croissants?

July 30, 2013

There was a big buzz on Stack Overflow recently when a question about buying croissants was asked:

At my office someone buys croissants for everybody every Friday. Sometimes we have problems arranging a suitable schedule because of absences — illness, vacation, training, customer meetings — so we’re looking for an algorithm that randomly chooses the person who should bring croissants so that everyone buys and consumes about as many croissants as everyone else.

The question caused a big ruckus at Stack Overflow, and is currently locked while the community decides if the question is appropriate; I personally think that it is, and further, that the question is both fun and practical.

Your task is to devise a suitable algorithm for deciding who should buy croissants, and demonstrate by simulation that your algorithms is fair. When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

About these ads

Pages: 1 2

One Response to “Who Buys The Croissants?”

  1. phil said

    so it sounds like your just looking for a uniform rng.
    here’s one that outputs a random schedule.

    http://pastebin.com/yUV1kEDT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 616 other followers

%d bloggers like this: