# [Taxacom] Random taxonomy

Isidro F. Aguillo isidro.aguillo at cchs.csic.es
Fri Nov 29 10:06:06 CST 2013

```Oh! This reminds me a similar question from my biostatistics lessons 30
years ago and if I remember correctly the probability of matching
correctly at least one is very high , perhaps as much as 50%. But
details are gone long time ago, sorry.

On 29/11/2013 16:55, Knut Rognes wrote:
> Thanks to all for replying outside and within the list.
>
> My raising the question of random taxonomy was inspired by a real case
> study. 43 specimens of blowflies was identified by a certain person. In the
> person's country there are about 50 species of blowflies. All his
> identifications was erroneous, except for one. My thought was then: Would a
> robot have done better, given a label dispenser?
>
> Some replies I have got suggest that the robot might have done a job as good
> as the human.
>
> Knut
>
> -----Opprinnelig melding-----
> Fra: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] På vegne av JF Mate
> Sendt: 29. november 2013 16:26
> Til: Taxacom
> Emne: Re: [Taxacom] Random taxonomy
>
> If I remember correctly, dependent probabilities in this case would be 1/n!.
> So the p of picking the correct label at random for the first box is 1/50,
> for 2 boxes back to back it becomes 1/(50*49) For all 50 p= 1/50! =
> 3.0414093e+64. However the exact conditions of the game will change the
> results (is it 1 out of 50 tries or on the first try, or after X tries...)
>
>
>
>
> On 29 November 2013 11:24, Knut Rognes <knut at rognes.no> wrote:
>> Dear Taxacomers,
>>
>>
>>
>> I have a statistical problem.
>>
>>
>>
>> Consider 50 black boxes, within each is a specimen of fly. Each fly
>> has been identified by someone, its name written on the inside of the
>> box, but this is invisible to you. You cannot peek inside. Each fly
>> belong to one of 50 possible species.
>>
>>
>>
>> You have at your disposal the 50 possible species names for these
>> flies, each name printed on an adhesive label, the supply of printed
>> labels for each name is limitless.
>>
>>
>>
>> Here is the game: you affix a random label on the outside of a random box.
>>
>>
>>
>> Now the problem: What is the likelihood that you put a correct label
>> on the box, i.e. that the name on the label matches the identity of the
> fly within?
>>
>>
>> Knut Rognes
>>
>> Oslo, Norway
>>
>>
>>
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> Celebrating 26 years of Taxacom in 2013.
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--
******************************

Isidro F. Aguillo, HonDr.
The Cybermetrics Lab, IPP-CSIC
Grupo Scimago

isidro.aguillo at csic.es
ORCID: 0000-0001-8927-4873
ResearcherID: A-7280-2008
Scholar Citations: SaCSbeoAAAAJ