A Model for Birdwatching and other Chronological Sampling Activities

Published in Arxiv Pre-Print, scheduled to appear in American Mathematical Monthly with J. De Loera, D. Oliveros, and A. Torres, 2022


In many real life situations one has m types of random events happening in chronological order within a time interval and one wishes to predict various milestones about these events or their subsets. An example is birdwatching. Suppose we can observe up to m different types of birds during a season. At any moment a bird of type \(i\) is observed with some probability. There are many natural questions a birdwatcher may have: how many observations should one expect to perform before recording all types of birds? Is there a time interval where the researcher is most likely to observe all species? Or, what is the likelihood that several species of birds will be observed at overlapping time intervals? Our paper answers these questions using a new model based on random interval graphs. This model is a natural follow up to the famous coupon collector’s problem

and the arXiv.

Citation: J. De Loera, E. Jaramillo-Rodriguez, D. Oliveros, and A. Torres, “A Model for Birdwatching and other Chronological Sampling Activities,” arXiv:2205.05743