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Blind-friendly von Neumann's Heads or Tails

Authors
  • de Sá, Vinícius Gusmão Pereira
  • de Figueiredo, Celina Miraglia Herrera
Type
Preprint
Publication Date
Mar 09, 2014
Submission Date
Mar 09, 2014
Identifiers
arXiv ID: 1403.2092
Source
arXiv
License
Yellow
External links

Abstract

The toss of a coin is usually regarded as the epitome of randomness, and has been used for ages as a means to resolve disputes in a simple, fair way. Perhaps as ancient as consulting objects such as coins and dice is the art of maliciously biasing them in order to unbalance their outcomes. However, it is possible to employ a biased device to produce equiprobable results in a number of ways, the most famous of which is the method suggested by von Neumann back in 1951. This paper addresses how to extract uniformly distributed bits of information from a nonuniform source. We study some probabilities related to biased dice and coins, culminating in an interesting variation of von Neumann's mechanism that can be employed in a more restricted setting where the actual results of the coin tosses are not known to the contestants.

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