konstantin konstantin - 2 years ago 109
Java Question

Function method in java

I am trying to understand a block of code i have how exactly it works. My code is an example of recursion and try to calculate the chance of a prime number as a number of a nth dice rolling outcome. My code is the following:

public static double ev3(int sum, int rollsLeft) {

if (rollsLeft == 0) {
if (sum == 3 ){
return 1;
return 0;

double rsum = 0;

for (int i = 1; i <= 6; i++) {
rsum += ev3(sum + i, rollsLeft - 1)/6.0;
return rsum;

I struggle to understand how the recursion exactly is working and if I am doing what I am suppose to. Why sum takes values beyond six.

EDIT: in the debugging that it goes like that: ev3(1,2) -> ev(2,1) and then instead of ev3(3,0) it goes again to ev3(2,1) any idea why this is happening?

Answer Source

Your function iterates over all possible permutations for some number of dice rolls and provides some metric for them. It's called recursively multiple times:

  • once initially (not recursively)
  • 6 times for all the possible results from the first dice roll
  • 62 times for all the possible results from the second dice roll (6 times for each of the possible results from the first dice roll)
  • ...
  • 6n times for all the possible results from the n-th dice roll

Your function evaluates some custom metric, but if you replace 100 with 1, -50 with 0, and generalize the sum == 3 || sum == 5 || sum == 7 || sum == 11 || sum == 13 || sum == 17 expression to an isPrime(sum) function, you'll be able to calculate the probability of the sum of n dice rolls being a prime number.

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