Infinite Monkey Theorem

What Does Infinite Monkey Theorem Mean?

The infinite monkey theorem is a probability theory. It states that given enough time, an army of monkeys will eventually come up with the sorts of work that we associate with our literary canon — for instance, a play by William Shakespeare. This idea illustrates the nature of probability — that because of the limited set of characters and permutations, enough test cases will eventually generate some pretty good ones.


Techopedia Explains Infinite Monkey Theorem

Many people are familiar with the idea of the infinite monkey theorem, which is often expressed as — “give 1,000 monkeys 1,000 typewriters and one of them will write a Shakespeare play.” The concept predates today’s current IT world and the big data culture that we now live in.

One thing that is interesting about the infinite monkey theorem is that in the age of high-speed computing technology, this theorem can actually be tested practically. Some efforts have been made to determine how quickly a random army of virtual monkeys can assemble certain types of ordered text. However, the results have led to a lot of discussion about whether picking and choosing parts of an ordered set effects the outcomes, and what the infinite monkey theorem really means.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…