There is this thought problem I've been trying to solve, it goes as follows
Imagine a bookshelf with a finite number of books in it, to which a finite number of people have access. Each person has a paper and pen where they can keep track of what books they have already read. the books have no covers, so in order to find out if you have read it you must take it out and open it.
What is the most effective method each person can use to find a book they haven't read before?
- You cannot change the order of the books in the bookshelf (you can however order the bookshelf into blocks/sections)
- The bookshelf - and its order - is the same for all people
- The bookshelf can also have new books added, so the system must be able to adapt to that,
- books can get stolen too. so a missing index can appear.
For example we can let each person take a book at random, then check on their list if they have read this book before, this will work. but once you reach the 900th/1000 book, you need to take 10 books in order to be able to read one.
Another example is where everyone writes down what they read, but after a few 100 books this gets rather slow. since you need to keep checking a list of 500 before you can pick one.