As a part of a greater question, I stumbled upon the following problem:

Let's suppose we have $n$ balls and $k$ bins. Bins are numbered $b_1, b_2, b_3,...b_k$.
Let $N[b_i]$ be the number of balls inside the $i$th bin. In how many ways can I place $n$ balls inside the $k$ bins such as $N[b_1] \geq N[b_2] \geq N[b_3] \geq ... \geq N[b_k]$?

As an example, if we have 4 balls and 3 bins, the possibilities are:
[4,0,0], [3,1,0], [2,2,0], [2,1,1].

Every help is much appreciated.


You seek the number of partitions of $n$ into at most $k$ parts. See here for background. Unfortunately there is no nice closed form, but the answer you seek is $$p_1(n)+p_2(n)+\cdots+p_k(n)$$ where $p_i(m)$ denotes the number of partitions of $m$ into exactly $i$ parts.


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