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# Find the numberxn of bit strings of lengthn in which the number of 00 substrings is equal to the number of11 substrings

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Problem 11424

(American Mathematical Monthly, Vol.116, March 2009) Proposed by E. Deutsch (USA).

Find the numberxn of bit strings of lengthn in which the number of 00 substrings is equal to the number of11 substrings.

Solution proposed by Roberto Tauraso, Dipartimento di Matematica, Universit`a di Roma “Tor Vergata”, via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00133 Roma, Italy.

A bit strings of length n is an ordered collection of 1 ≤ m ≤ n blocks each of length br+ 1 ≥ 1 of consecutive 0’s and 1’s alternated. Hence

m

X

r=1

br= n − m.

Since that the number of 00 substrings in a string of br+ 1 consecutive 0’s is equal to br, in order to compute xn we have to count two times (the first block can be of 0’s or 1’s) the number of non-negative integers solutions of

⌈m/2⌉

X

j=1

b2j−1=

⌊m/2⌋

X

j=1

b2j= n − m 2 where (n − m)/2 is an integer. Therefore

xn= 2 X n − m even

(n − m)/2 + ⌈m/2⌉ − 1

⌈m/2⌉ − 1

(n − m)/2 + ⌊m/2⌋ − 1

⌊m/2⌋ − 1



= 2

 n − 2

⌊n/2⌋ − 1

 .



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