# How many solutions for equation $x_1+x_2+x_3+x_4+x_5 = 15$ have two variables equal to 1?

How many solutions for equation $x_1+x_2+x_3+x_4+x_5=15$ have exactly two variables equal to 1? ($x_i \ge 1$)

Hint: think about splitting 15 beans among 5 children, considering the restrictions.

• So you are basically asking about $x_3+x_4+x_5=13$ ? Jun 2, 2015 at 16:06
• No, in your equation, $x_1$ and $x_2$ are the variables equal to 1. But that can also happen to $x_3$, $x_4$, and $x_5$. Jun 2, 2015 at 16:44
• Ya what i meant was $x_a+x_b+x_c=13$ ... But ajotatxe's answer seems to be correct! Jun 2, 2015 at 16:50

Step 1: Give 1 bean to each children. There is $1$ way to do this.

Step 2: Choose two of the children and tell them to go home. There are $\binom 52=10$ ways to do this.

Step 3: Give 1 bean to each children left. There is $1$ way to do this. You have $7$ beans left.

Step 4: Distribute at will the beans. This is a bars and stars problem. There are $\binom 92=36$ ways to do this.

Result: $10\cdot 36=360$.

• I have two questions: is Step 3 really necessary? As for Step 4, since three children are left, shouldn't the math be $\binom {13}{3}$ instead? Jun 2, 2015 at 16:34
• First question: I feel more confortable with problems in which you can give $0$ beans to somebody. Second question: there are $\binom{n+r-1}{r-1}$ ways to put $r$ equal balls into $n$ different boxes. Jun 2, 2015 at 16:56
• You need Step 3 because you want exactly two kids with one bean. Jun 3, 2015 at 7:31

Further HINT: There are $\binom52$ ways to choose two of the children to receive one bean each. Once they’ve been chosen, you have $13$ beans to distribute amongst three children in such a way that each child receives at least $2$ beans. There are as many ways to do that as there are to distribute $10$ beans amongst $3$ children so that each child gets at least one bean.

Step 1: Give 1 bean each to any two children and send them home.[${5\choose 2}$ = 10 ways.]

Step 2: Give 2 beans each to the remaining 3 children. 7 beans now remain.

Step 3: Distribute the remaining 7 beans among 3 children any way using "stars and bars" in ${9\choose 2}$ = 36 ways

Result: 10*36 = 360

• You want exactly two kids with one bean. Your system counts cases where three kids have one bean (also four kids, and so on). Jun 3, 2015 at 7:32
• My bad ! Thanks ! Corrected so as not to confuse others ! Jun 4, 2015 at 4:02

Subtract $1$ from each variable, so the restriction is $x_i \ge 0$ and $\sum x_i = 10$. You can select the two variables getting value $0$ in $\binom{5}{2}$ ways, for the other three stars-and-bars tells you there are $\binom{10 + 3 - 1}{3 - 1}$ ways of solving the equation, for a total of:

$$\binom{5}{2} \cdot \binom{10 + 3 - 1}{3 - 1} = 660$$

solutions.

• Two variables would get 0 whereas the three ones left would get 1 or more. So the n for the stars-and-bars problem would be 10 - 3 = 7, right? May 21, 2018 at 11:53