Simulating Dart Throws in R

Back in November 2009 Wired wrote an article about some grad students who decided to try to stochastically model throwing darts. Because I don’t actually read printed material I didn’t see the article until a couple of months ago. My immediate thought was, “hey, I drink beer. I throw darts. I build stochastic models. Why haven’t I done this?” Well we all know why I haven’t done this. I have a job and a 2 year old daughter and I like my wife. Well a funny thing happened a few weeks ago. I sat down and was thinking about this problem and then 5 hours later I had a working dart simulator in my text editor. I don’t remember writing this. So Occam’s Razor says that the most likely explanation is the simplest explanation. So clearly I was abducted by aliens and someone broke into my office and built a dart simulator.

I do reinsurance modeling to pay the bills and it immediacy hit me that this type of modeling is very similar to what I do for work. This similarity became the impetus for my presentation at R in Finance 2010 which starts today.

I dumped the dart board code into a github gist which can be found here:

If the embedded code is not showing up, you can get to it directly on Github.

2 Comments

  1. lee says:

    Nice work!
    I’ve found that modeling simple games is much more fulfilling than modeling ‘reality’. I think it has something to do with the fact that games have defined rules while reality doesn’t.

  2. John Ramey says:

    JD, after I read the following statement, I immediately subscribed to your RSS feed: “hey, I drink beer. I throw darts. I build stochastic models. Why haven’t I done this?”

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