I am currently trying to model a simple system in programming using a geometric series. The problem at hand is:
For every one unit of "x" I receive, I have a 30% chance of obtaining a second "x". This second "x" has in turn a 30% chance to spawn a third x, which can further propagate to 4, 5, and 6 to infinity, each with a 30% chance of initiating the subsequent term. If at any point the probability condition is not satisfied, the propagation stops with that term.
In order to determine how many "x" I end up with, I wanted to model the system as the geometric series:
Where x is however many units I start with.
This converges to 1.428
My questions are:
1. I'm having trouble interpreting the meaning of the converging value. Is it accurate to say the "true" probability of spawning an additional x is 42.8%, rather than 30%, because the series converges to that? If not, what is the significance of this converging value? My qualm here is that the n = 1 term is still dependent on a 30% chance to occur, and not a 42.8% chance, which leads me to my next question.
2. Since each additional term in the series is not arbitrarily present but dependent on a previous term occurring, I don't know if it is correct to model it as a geometric series. Factoring in this probability has given me trouble. In light of this, I have also considered the following:
Assuming I have ten units, I can expand the series into the following terms:
1st term: 10 units
2nd term: 0.3 * 10 units
3rd term: 0.3 * (0.3 *10 units) =
Since the 3rd term is dependent on the probability of the 2nd term occurring, I could rewrite the 3rd term as 3rd'' term:
3rd'' term = 3rd term * probability of 2nd term occurring =
The corresponding series would be:
x + = x + =
Using the same derivation for convergance of a geometric series, I got that the above series converges to
I have no idea what the significance of this convergance would be.
Is this going in the right direction? Thank you for any advice/help!