Lets say you have a circular table that seats $n$ people and $b\lt n -1$ identitcal boys. If you were to divide the boys into $k$ teams of size $\geq 1$, how many ways are there to seat the boys so that the teams sit together and have at least 1 empty seat separating them? Consider the seats to be unique (e.g. if we have only 1 boy, there are $n$ possible seating arrangements for him).
Consider the case where we have $n=6$, $b=4$, $k=2$, we can divide the boys into either 2 teams of 2 or a team of 3 and a team of 1. In the first case, there are 3 unique ways of arranging the boys and 6 ways in the second case, leaving 9 total seating arrangements. How can I generalize this? In the case where each team is of size 1, the problem boils down to finding the number of ways of choosing $k$ non-consecutive positions on a ring of size $n$, which has been well-documented. For bigger teams, the problem seems harder. I suspect I'll first need to calculate the $S(n,k)$, the Stirling number of the second kind to find the total number of possible teams and then finding the ways of arranging them.
Anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
Also, can anyone suggest a good reference for this kind of question