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I need to prove the identity ${\displaystyle \sum_{k=0}^{n}(-1)^{k}{2n-k \choose k}2^{2n-2k}=2n+1} $ using the inclusion-exclusion principle. It was hinted to think about the number of ways to color the numbers ${1,..,2n}$ in the colors red and blue such that if $i$ is colored red so is $i-1$. Well, it is clearly why the number of ways to do it is $2n+1$, but I don't manage to show why it also equal to the left side of the equation.

Anyone can give me a hint about the sets I should define in order to use the inclusion-exclusion principle? Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry to be vague, but it will probably be something like: $k$ is the number of violations of the red-neighbors rule. $\endgroup$ – Greg Martin May 22 '13 at 17:14
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There are $2^{2n}$ colourings in total, $2^{2n-2}{2n-1\choose 1}$ ways to pick a pair of adjacent numbers and colour the first blue and the second red and the rest any colour, $2^{2n-4}{2n-2\choose 2}$ ways to pick two pairs of numbers and have both with the first color blue and the second colour red and the rest any colour, and so on.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks a lot! :) $\endgroup$ – John Smith May 22 '13 at 19:17

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