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Home: Perl Programming Help: Intermediate:
Infectious Random Walk



Sep 15, 2012, 6:47 PM

Post #1 of 2 (2429 views)
Infectious Random Walk Can't Post

I am modifying the Random Walk model to include a certain number of targets. I have a 20x20 grid (x and y axis), it now must have n=3 targets randomly distributed in the grid. I must show the probability of the random walker hitting this target within 20 moves. I have two for loops. the first one for creating the random walk works but to show that it may hit a randomly distributed target does not. I need help with that part. Thanks

while($count > 0) { 
$xpos = 0;
$ypos = 0;

#Inner loop to perform each step of a random walk
for ($i = $NO_OF_STEPS; $i > 0; $i--)
$random_num = rand();
#Storing xpos, ypos into designated arrays
$xposArr[$i] = $xpos;
push(@yposArr, $ypos);
if($random_num < 0.25) {
} elsif ($random_num < 0.5) {
} elsif ($random_num < 0.75) {
} else {

#Inner loop when walker hits a target
for ($i = $NO_OF_STEPS; $i > 0; $i--)
$random_num = rand();
$xposArr[$i] = $xpos;
push(@yposArr, $ypos);
if($random_num == $n)
print "xpos $xpos\t ypos $ypos\t Hit by target\n";

Veteran / Moderator

Sep 16, 2012, 1:12 AM

Post #2 of 2 (2428 views)
Re: [Lynn] Infectious Random Walk [In reply to] Can't Post

In the second inner loop, you are comparing $random_num with $n. But $n isn't defined anywhere in the code you posted.

Even if it was defined, I can't see how this comparison would yield you the desired result. You are just comparing a random number with $n, even assuming $n is defined somewhere else, the probability of an exact match is very very low, close to 0 (on my system, rand returns a number with 16 decimal digits, the probability of an exact match is of the order of 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,; if you run this program 100 times second, the chances are that you will most probably not get a hit in 100,000 years). Actually, I don't even understand what you are trying to do with this second inner loop.

The first inner loop also has flaws: you are not checking that your moves don't get you out of the grid. You should have minimal and maximal values for $xpos and $ypos and decide what to do when using the random number would lead you to walk outside of the grid.

Final point: you should "use strict;" and "use warnings". This would give you a number of diagnostics on your code and declare most on your variables in limited lexical scope (with my).


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