On Various Versions of the Defective Coin Problem.

by Richard Ernest Bellman, Brian Gluss


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An analysis of the problem of ascertaining the minimum number of weighings which suffice to determine the defective coin in a set of N Coins of the same appearance, given an equal arm balance and the information that there are two or more defective coins present. An attempt is made to indicate a systematic way in which the theory of dynamic programming can be used to provide a computational solution to determine optimal and suboptimal testing policies. This is illustrated by means of some numerical results obtained using a digital computer.

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