The integer sequence defined by the recurrence
(1)

with the initial conditions , , . This recurrence relation is the same as that for the Padovan sequence but with different initial conditions. The first few terms for , 1, ..., are 3, 0, 2, 3, 2, 5, 5, 7, 10, 12, 17, ... (OEIS A001608).
The above cartoon (Amend 2005) shows an unconventional sports application of the Perrin sequence (right panel). (The left two panels instead apply the Fibonacci numbers).
is the solution of a thirdorder linear homogeneous recurrence equation having characteristic equation
(2)

Denoting the roots of this equation by , , and , with the unique real root, the solution is then
(3)

Here,
(4)

is the plastic constant , which is also given by the limit
(5)

The asymptotic behavior of is
(6)

The first few primes in this sequence are 2, 3, 2, 5, 5, 7, 17, 29, 277, 367, 853, ... (OEIS A074788), which occur for terms , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 20, 21, 24, 34, 38, 75, 122, 166, 236, 355, 356, 930, 1042, 1214, 1461, 1622, 4430, 5802, 9092, 16260, 18926, 23698, 40059, 45003, 73807, 91405, 263226, 316872, 321874, 324098, ... (OEIS A112881), the largest of which are probable primes and a number of which are summarized in the following table.
decimal digits  discoverer  date  
E. W. Weisstein  Oct. 6, 2005  
E. W. Weisstein  May 4, 2006  
E. W. Weisstein  Feb. 4, 2007  
E. W. Weisstein  Feb. 19, 2007  
E. W. Weisstein  Feb. 25, 2007  
E. W. Weisstein  Feb. 15, 2011 
Perrin (1899) investigated the sequence and noticed that if is prime, then (i.e., divides ). The first statement of this fact is attributed to É. Lucas in 1876 by Stewart (1996). Perrin also searched for but did not find any composite number in the sequence such that . Such numbers are now known as Perrin pseudoprimes. Malo (1900), Escot (1901), and Jarden (1966) subsequently investigated the series and also found no Perrin pseudoprimes. Adams and Shanks (1982) subsequently found that is such a number.