Conditioning and Polya’s urn

An urn contains 1 black and 2 white balls. One ball is drawn at random and its color noted. The ball is replaced in the urn, together with an additional ball of its color. There are now four balls in the urn. Again, one ball is drawn at random from the urn, then replaced along with an additional ball of its color. The process continues in this way.

  1. Let \(B_n\) be the number of black balls in the urn just before the \(n\)th ball is drawn. (Thus \(B_1= 1\).) For \(n \geq 1\), find \(\mathbf{E} (B_{n+1} | B_{n}) \).
  2. For \(n \geq 1\),  find \(\mathbf{E} (B_{n}) \). [Hint: Use induction based on the previous answer and the fact that \(\mathbf{E}(B_1) =1\)]
  3.   For \(n \geq 1\), what is the expected proportion of black balls in the urn just before the \(n\)th ball is drawn ?

 

[From pitman p 408, #6]

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