Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The P vs NP quiz Show. NP! NP! NP!

Some random thoughts about quiz shows.

THOUGHT ONE: There could be a quiz show based on P and NP. We all think that FINDING an answer is harder than VERIFYING an answer. We use this! The contestant gets a question (or perhaps a category of questions) and is asked
P or NP ?
NP means that they will try to ANSWER the question. P means they will get to hear a POSSIBLE answer and VERIFY IT. NP is worth more money, perhaps alot more. How to verify?--- a few ways are possible.
  1. The host gives the correct answer and the contestant either says (1) OH, I knew that- here is how I knew it (and then gives an explanation of how they knew that). Thus the contestant must verify that he can verify. If so, they get some money. If not then perhaps a bit penalty like lose ALL of their money or get an electric shock. (2) OH, I didn't know that. No money but no penalty.
  2. Hook the contestant to a lie-detector and if they say claim Oh, I knew that and they are not lying then they get some money. If they claim they knew it and are lying then they are already set up to get an electric shock, so do that.
Get the audience to yell NP! NP! NP! --- rooting for the contestant to GO FOR THE BIG MONEY!

Could there be quiz shows based on other complexity classes?

THOUGHT TWO: On the show Cash Cab after contestants have finished they can either WALK AWAY (with money that is usually between 400 and 1500 dollars) or risk it on a DOUBLE OR NOTHING video bonus question. Should you risk it? There are two parameters X and Y.
  1. If you didn't do that well, so you have LESS THAN X, then you are off your game and shouldn't risk it.
  2. If you won a lot of money, at least Y, then you should just be happy and walk away with it.
  3. If you won between X and Y then do the video bonus question.
I am risk averse, so X ≥ Y and I would never do the video bonus question. How about you? It might matter how much 400 or 1500 dollars is worth to you--- so you may very well be a risk taker in Cash Cab but not in Deal or No Deal where the amounts of money are much larger and thus more likely to be life changing. So X and Y might be functions of, not just how risk averse you are, but also on how much money is at stake. Could this be modeled?

THOUGHT THREE: When you watch a quiz show where there is only one contestant (e.g., Who wants to be a Millionaire or Cash Cab) and you yell out an answer, and the contestants yell a different answer, who do you hope is right?
  1. I hope that they are right.
  2. Almost everyone I've asked disagrees: That is, if I ask Alice, Alice hopes that Alice is right and the contestant is wrong.
  3. If I was watching with someone I wanted to impress then I might hope that I am right.
  4. If I like (dislike) the contestant then I hope they get it right (wrong) ind of what I yelled out.
  5. So- what do you hope for, and why?
I expect to see a paper at INNOVATIONS on any or all of these topics.

1 comment:

  1. I love all these ideas. As for #3, I hope the contestant gets it right because it would make me feel computational literacy was on the rise.