DZone Snippets is a public source code repository. Easily build up your personal collection of code snippets, categorize them with tags / keywords, and share them with the world

The classical birthday paradox calculates the probability that any two items within a set share the same value. For example, in a room of 23 people, there is a 50% chance that there exists a pair of people with the same birthday. This is because there are n(n-1)/2 pairs of people in the room to form a collision. The two-way birthday paradox occurs when there are two groups of items. Specifically, it describes the probability that there exists an item in set A with the same value as an item in set B. At first this sounds easy to calculate, but better mathematicians than I have proven me wrong. So I present to you the algorithm for calculating this probability. p_0=\frac{1}{d^{m+n}}\sum_{i=1}^{m}\sum_{j=1}^{n}S_2(m,i)S_2(n,j)\prod_{k=0}^{i+j-1}d-k http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birthday_paradox (Under: Generalization to multiple types)

# This calculates the Stirling numbers of the second kind (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_number) def stirling2(n,m) if n <= 0 or m <= 0 return [] end s2 = [[1]] 1.upto(m-1) do |i| s2[0] << 0 end 1.upto(n-1) do |i| s2 << [] s2[i][0] = 1 1.upto(m-1) do |j| s2[i][j] = (j+1)*s2[i-1][j] + s2[i-1][j-1] end end s2[n-1][m-1] end # this calculates the probability of NO collisions between set A (m members) and set B (n members) where there # are t distinct values (t is d in the Wikipedia article, e.g., 365) def birthday2(m,n,t) b2 = 0 1.upto(m) do |i| 1.upto(n) do |j| acc = 1 0.upto(i+j-1) do |k| acc *= t-k end acc *= stirling2(m,i)*stirling2(n,j) b2 += acc end end b2 /= (t**(m+n)).to_f; end