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I recall seeing a clever method to estimate the area of an irregular shape. It involved probabilities/ratios/proportions and superimposing the shape onto a 10x10 grid (area=100).

You then randomly scatter 100 pebbles/grains of sand/etc over the grid and see what percentage fall inside the shape. The area of the shape is a percentage of the total area of 100 (the percentage of pebbles that fell inside the shape)..

Is there a better explanation of this concept somewhere? Does it use a grid/area of surrounding area? Was the example best explained with pebbles or sand or something else?

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    $\begingroup$ It's called Monte Carlo Method. $\endgroup$ – Kaster Nov 21 '13 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ That's it! Thanks. $\endgroup$ – JackOfAll Nov 22 '13 at 1:38
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It's called Monte Carlo Method. – Kaster Nov 21 at 21:11

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