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Let's say I have a resource, call it E.

There are four important values

  1. Em - the maximum amount of E we can have
  2. Ec - the current amount of E
  3. Er - the rate at which E replenishes (this is in % of Em)
  4. Ea - the cost amount in E of an action

Let us assume that we start at max capacity.

at t=0 : Ec = Em
at t=i : Ec = (Ec at i-1) - Ea     + Er*Em
 aka   curr = previous    - action + replenish

How can I make a formula that models this behavior to determine at what t will I run out of resources.

I can make some estimates when I use values, let's say Em is 1000, Er is 0.01, and Ea is 50.

1000 / 50 = 20, so at t = 20, I will only have what I gained from my resource replenishment. 1000 * 0.01 = 10 * 20 = 200 more resources to spend. 200 / 50 = 4, so in 4 more t's, I would have acquired 40. I can estimate that between t=24 and t=25 I will run out of resources.

Estimating to within a t is acceptable, but doing it iteratively is a pain on my real datasets. I really don't remember how to turn an infinite series into a formula, so I turn to you guys.


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As you have written the equation, you have a fixed change of $-Ea + ErEm$ per period, so it will last $\frac{Em}{Ea-ErEm}$ periods. Is this what you meant?

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Wow. When you put it that way, that's... so simple. I feel kind of silly now. Thanks so much! – corsiKa Mar 7 '11 at 22:31

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