The Urinal Problem

  • Evangelos Kranakis
  • Danny Krizanc
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6099)

Abstract

A man walks into a men’s room and observes n empty urinals. Which urinal should he pick so as to maximize his chances of maintaining privacy, i.e., minimize the chance that someone will occupy a urinal beside him? In this paper, we attempt to answer this question under a variety of models for standard men’s room behavior. Our results suggest that for the most part one should probably choose the urinal furthest from the door (with some interesting exceptions). We also suggest a number of variations on the problem that lead to many open problems.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evangelos Kranakis
    • 1
  • Danny Krizanc
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceWesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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