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Branching factor generator

A function to generate a stream of tree branching factors to approximate a non-integer branching factor.

branches' x i sum =
let v = (if sum/i > x then floor x else ceiling x) :: Int in
v : branches' x (i+1) (sum+fromIntegral v)

branches n = branches' n 0 0

e_branches = branches (exp 1)
e_100000 = take 100000 $ e_branches
average l = sum l / fromIntegral (length l)
average $ map fromIntegral e_100000 == 2.71828

You could also write the average function as

average2 l = snd $ foldl (\(i, avg) e -> (i+1, (avg*(i-1) + e)/i)) (1, 0) l

average2 $ map fromIntegral e_100000

even though that is less accurate. You can use a similar trick for the branches' function to use a running average instead of a running sum.

branches2' x i avg =
let v = (if avg > x then floor x else ceiling x) :: Int in
v : branches2' x (i+1) ((avg*(i-1)+fromIntegral v)/i)

branches2 n = branches2' n 1 0
average $ map fromIntegral $ take 100000 $ branches2 (exp 1)

To generate a tree of wanted size out of the branching factor list, you'd have a tree generator that eats values off the list and generates tree nodes breadth-first. It is kind of a pain to write.
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