I have a list of similar elements, and I want to scatter a smaller set of strikingly different elements among them, with the intent of surprising the user and reviving interest in the list. Something like this:
I do not want an actual random distribution, the possibility of clumps or excessive gaps should be avoided. A valid random distribution such as OOOXXXOOOO would defeat the purpose.
So, what predictable algorithms, sequences, or distributions have been shown to be best at surprising users and thwarting their ability to recognize a pattern, thus creating the illusion of being random and unpredictable?
An example algorithm that I am currently testing works as follows:
While there are normal elements to add:
- Add one normal element
- Add one odd element at a chosen probability (usually about .2 to .4).
Adding one normal element for every chance of an odd element helps avoid clusters of odd elements.