Problem Statement: Let $n\geq 2$ be a natural number. We are interested in sequences $(x_1,x_2,...,x_n)$ of natural numbers such that $$x_1+x_2+...+x_n = x_1x_2...x_n\text{ and }x_1\leq x_2\leq...\leq x_n.$$ Let $A(n)$ denote the set of all such sequences. Moreover, we denote by $a(n)$ the cardinality of the set $A(n).$ The goal is to generate $a(n)$ for $n\geq 2.$

Attempt: Naive attempt in Python 3.5

from itertools import product

def prod(tup):
    Computes the product of all elements in the tuple. 
    p = 1
    for i in tup:
        p = p*i
    return p

def a(n):
    Check Sum Equals Product Property.
    list_of_tuples = list(product(range(1,2*n+1), repeat = n))
    count = 0
    for tup in list_of_tuples:
        if sum(tup) == prod(tup):
            count = count + 1
    return count

It can be proved that for all $n\geq 3$ that $$x_1+x_2+...+x_n\leq 2n.$$ So I just used the bound $1\leq x_i\leq 2n$ for all $i=1,2,...,n.$ I know this is really bad because it is $O((2n)^n)$ and I not generating non-decreasing sequences. I guess one would want to reduce the number of tuples to check, but I am not sure how to do this. Perhaps someone has an idea?

  • $\begingroup$ Your code doesn't take into account the fact that $x_1 \leq x_2 \leq \cdots \leq x_n$. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ For $n \leq 10^4$, you can use the table on OEIS: oeis.org/A033178. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 22:27

1 Answer 1


One simple optimization you can use is as follows: since $x_1 + \cdots + x_n \leq 2n$, it follows that at most $\log_3 (2n)$ values are at least 3. You can go over all possible values for these $O(\log n)$ elements, and for each of them it should be easy to determine whether they can be completed (by adding only 1s and 2s) to a solution.

Taking this one step further, you can start adding elements to the sequence, from $x_n$ down, keeping track of the current product. If it exceeds $2n$, you can immediately halt.

You can probably optimize this much further, but this is already a good start.

Alternatively, OEIS has your sequence as A033178, and a table for $n \leq 10000$.


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