Project Euler Problem 285


Another quite nice problem from Project Euler is number 285. The result of the problem depends on the computation of a certain probability, which in turn is related to the computation of a certain area. Below is an illustration of the computation for k equal to 10.

pb285_10

To save you some time, here’s a picture of the case k=1 which I ignored and spent quite a lot of time debugging… Plus, it only affects the last three digits or so after the decimal point…

pb285_1

Here’s a Matlab code which can construct the pictures above and can compute the result for low cases. To solve the problem, you should compute explicitly all these areas.


function problem285(k)

N = 100000;

a = rand(1,N);
b = rand(1,N);

ind = find(abs(sqrt((k*a+1).^2+(k*b+1).^2)-k)<0.5);

plot(a(ind),b(ind),'.');
axis equal

M = k;
pl = 1;

for k=1:M
if mod(k,100)==0
k
end
r1 = (k+0.5)/k;
r2 = (k-0.5)/k;

f1 = @(x) (x<=(-1/k+r1)).*(x>=(-1/k-r1)).*(sqrt(r1^2-(x+1/k).^2)-1/k).*(x>=0).*(x<=1); f1 = @(x) f1(x).*(f1(x)>=0);
f2 = @(x) (x<=(-1/k+r2)).*(x>=(-1/k-r2)).*(sqrt(r2^2-(x+1/k).^2)-1/k).*(x>=0).*(x<=1); f2 = @(x) f2(x).*(f2(x)>=0);

if k == pl
thetas = linspace(0,pi/2,200);
hold on
plot(-1/k+r1*cos(thetas),-1/k+r1*sin(thetas),'r','LineWidth',2);
plot(-1/k+r2*cos(thetas),-1/k+r2*sin(thetas),'r','LineWidth',2);
plot([0 1 1 0 0],[0 0 1 1 0],'k','LineWidth',3);
hold off
axis off
end

A(k) = integral(@(x) f1(x)-f2(x),0,1);

end

xs = xlim;
ys = ylim;

w = 0.01;
axis([xs(1)-w xs(2)+w ys(1)-w ys(2)+w]);

sum((1:k).*A)

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