I need to generate a binary array of size N with K numbers 1 and (n-k) numbers 0 on it,does not matter in which position. The amount of K numbers 1s belongs to an interval Min <= K <= Max , and Max <= N .

Since these values is represented by a binary variable, the probability of array position has 0 is P(x=0) = 0.5 and it has 1 is P(x=1) = 1-P(x=0) = 0.5.

Let's suppose an array size of N=100 must have K numbers 1s on it according 20 <= K <= 30 ,i.e. Min=20 and Max=30.

My first idea to use a probability function to generate the values for this array was developed according to the following considerations, which I'm not sure if it is correct :

(1) for the MIN constraint K>=20, since the probability of 1s is P(x=1)=0.5 and it is required that at least 20 positions been filled with 1s then , at least 20/100 =20% , (Min/N) positions must have 1s, However, for a random binary variable P(X=1) = 0.5 , so how to combine this with the constraint of 20% must be 1 ?

(2) for the MAX constraint K<=30, it means that the (100 - 30) remaining positions must be 0, i.e. 70/100 = 70%, (1 - Max/N) positions must have zero. However, for a random binary variable P(X=0)=0.5, how to combine this with the constraint of 70% must be 0 ?

(3) the interval 20 <= K <= 30 , can be either 0 or 1, i.e. (30 - 10)/100= 20% , (Max - Min)/N positions can be filled 0 or 1.

After found the probability of 1s "prob_one", I'd like to write my code using a "rand" function (which returns a random number between 0 and 1) to fill each position of the binary array like this :

"if rand <= prob_one then myarray[position] := 1 else myarray[position] = 0" .

My Questions :

Q1) Do considerations (1) , (2) and (3) make sense ?

Q2) Is there any probability distribution function that can solve this problem and give a direct answer like P(X=1) = prob_one and P(X=0)= prob_zero ?

I appreciate solutions, explanations, examples and material references on how to solve this.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there anything wrong with choosing p=(lower limit+upper limit)/2, in this case p=25%, with rethrows if the number fails? $\endgroup$ – JMP May 2 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ This array must have at least lower limit of 1s . So I think there could be an option to have (L+U)/2 number 1s. But I'm searching first the probabilistic formula. Thanks or now ! $\endgroup$ – JRG May 2 at 19:52

The number of arrays which contains exactly $k$ times the digit $1$ is given by:

$$n(k) = {N \choose k} = \frac{N!}{k!(N-k)!},$$

where $a!$ is the factorial of the number $a$.

If you want to find the number of arrays with $20 \leq k \leq 30,$ then you must evaluate:

$$\sum_{k=20}^{30} n(k) = ...$$

In order to arrive to the same result using a probabilistic approach, you should first notice that the number of $N$-arrays composed by "0" and "1" digits only is $2^N$. Moreover, the probability that one of these array contains exactly $k$ digits $1$ is given by the binomial distribution:

$$P(k) = {N \choose k}p^k (1-p)^{N-k},$$

where $p = \frac{1}{2}$ is the probability of having a $1$. Therefore, the number of arrays which contains exactly $k$ times the digit $1$ is given by: $$n(k) = 2^N \cdot P(k) = 2^N {N \choose k}p^k (1-p)^{N-k} = 2^N {N \choose k} \left(\frac{1}{2}\right)^k \left(\frac{1}{2}\right)^{N-k} = {N \choose k} 2^{N - k - N + k} = {N \choose k},$$

which is exactly the same result presented at the beginning of this answer.

If you want to find the probability to extract one array with $20 \leq k \leq 30$, then you should evaluate:

$$\sum_{k=20}^{30} P(k) = \frac{1}{2^N}\sum_{k=20}^{30}n(k) = ...$$

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  • $\begingroup$ tks for the prompt reply. I'm not sure if I clearly described my point or if you didn't got he point> I'm NOT looking for the the number of arrays which has 20<=K<= 30 numbers of 1s whithin , as your answer proposed. I'm interested in a single array only that has 20<=K<=30 number 1s on it and I want to find the probability of such K . In other words given a single array of 100 positions, I want fill K positions of this single array with number 1, considering Lower <= K <= Upper . What is the the probability of having K number 1s in one single array of size N ? $\endgroup$ – JRG May 2 at 20:13

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