**Reference**:- Hugo A. Akitaya, Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Adam Hesterberg, Ferran Hurtado, Jason S. Ku, and Jayson Lynch, “Pachinko”,
*Computational Geometry: Theory and Applications*, volume 68, March 2018, pages 226–242. In memory of our friend Ferran Hurtado **Abstract**:-
Inspired by the Japanese game Pachinko, we study simple (perfectly
“inelastic” collisions) dynamics of a unit ball falling amidst
point obstacles (
*pins*) in the plane. A classic example is that a checkerboard grid of pins produces the binomial distribution, but what probability distributions result from different pin placements? In the 50-50 model, where the pins form a subset of this grid, not all probability distributions are possible, but surprisingly the uniform distribution is possible for {1, 2, 4, 8, 16} possible drop locations. Furthermore, every probability distribution can be approximated arbitrarily closely, and every dyadic probability distribution can be divided by a suitable power of 2 and then constructed exactly (along with extra “junk” outputs). In a more general model, if a ball hits a pin off center, it falls left or right accordingly. Then we prove a universality result: any distribution of*n*dyadic probabilities, each specified by*k*bits, can be constructed using*O*(*n**k*^{2}) pins, which is close to the information-theoretic lower bound of Ω(*n**k*). **Comments**:- This paper is also available from ScienceDirect.
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Last updated February 10, 2020 by Erik Demaine.