Subtle Bias

by Douglas Zare
1 April 2010

Douglas Zare

If the dice are fair, then when you look back over your records, you should find that 1/6 of the dice are 6s, right? That should be obvious to almost everyone at this point. What else could be meant by fair dice? However, by the end of the column, I hope it won't be so obvious. There is a subtle bias in many statistical sampling methods, including sampling dice by playing games, and sampling your win percentage by playing tournaments.

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