Decision Support Puzzles for Applied Mathematicians
April 2014 - Spy Catcher
Your government has lost track of a high profile foreign spy and they have requested your help to track him down. As part of his attempts to evade capture, he has employed a simple strategy. Each day the spy moves from the country that he is currently in to a neighboring country.
The spy cannot skip over a country (for example, he cannot go from Chile to Ecuador in one day). The movement probabilities are equally distributed amongst the neighboring countries. For example, if the spy is currently in Ecuador, there is a 50% chance he will move to Colombia and a 50% chance he will move to Peru. The spy was last seen in Chile and will only move about countries that are in South America. He has been moving about the countries for several weeks.
Question: Which country is the spy most likely hiding in and how likely is it that he is there?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15th, 2014. The winner, chosen randomly from correct answers, will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Past questions can be found at puzzlor.com.