Questions tagged [algorithms]

An algorithm is a sequence of well-defined steps that defines an abstract solution to a problem. Use this tag when your issue is related to design and analysis of algorithms.

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In-place algorithm for interleaving an array

You are given an array of $2n$ elements $$a_1, a_2, \dots, a_n, b_1, b_2, \dots b_n$$ The task is to interleave the array, using an in-place algorithm such that the resulting array looks like $$...
Aryabhata's user avatar
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43 votes
1 answer
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Do you get DFS if you change the queue to a stack in a BFS implementation?

Here is the standard pseudocode for breadth first search: ...
rgrig's user avatar
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86 votes
8 answers
59k views

Graph searching: Breadth-first vs. depth-first

When searching graphs, there are two easy algorithms: breadth-first and depth-first (Usually done by adding all adjactent graph nodes to a queue (breadth-first) or stack (depth-first)). Now, are ...
malexmave's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
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How is the loop invariant obtained in this square root bound finding algorithm?

Originally on math.SE but unanswered there. Consider the following algorithm. ...
Ken Li's user avatar
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38 votes
2 answers
28k views

Hash tables versus binary trees

When implementing a dictionary ('I want to look up customer data by their customer IDs'), the typical data structures used are hash tables and binary search trees. I know for instance that the C++ STL ...
Alex ten Brink's user avatar
29 votes
4 answers
5k views

How to determine likely connections in a social network?

I am curious in determining an approach to tackling a "suggested friends" algorithm. Facebook has a feature in which it will recommended individuals to you which it thinks you may be acquainted with. ...
phwd's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Analyzing a modified version of the card-game "War"

A simple game usually played by children, the game of War is played by two people using a standard deck of 52 playing cards. Initially, the deck is shuffled and all cards are dealt two the two players,...
Patrick87's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
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Identifying events related to dates in a paragraph

Is there an algorithmic approach to identify that dates given in a paragraph correlate to particular events (phrases) in the paragraph? Example, consider the following paragraph: In June 1970, the ...
check123's user avatar
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20 votes
1 answer
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Implementing the GSAT algorithm - How to select which literal to flip?

The GSAT algorithm is, for the most part, straight forward: You get a formula in conjunctive normal form and flip the literals of the clauses until you find a solution that satisfies the formula or ...
Adeiln's user avatar
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56 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why polynomial time is called "efficient"?

Why in computer science any complexity which is at most polynomial is considered efficient? For any practical application(a), algorithms with complexity $n^{\log n}$ are way faster than algorithms ...
Ran G.'s user avatar
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20 votes
5 answers
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A Case Distinction on Dynamic Programming: Example Needed!

I have been working on dynamic programming for some time. The canonical way to evaluate a dynamic programming recursion is by creating a table of all necessary values and filling it row by row. See ...
Raphael's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
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The time complexity of finding the diameter of a graph

What is the time complexity of finding the diameter of a graph $G=(V,E)$? ${O}(|V|^2)$ ${O}(|V|^2+|V| \cdot |E|)$ ${O}(|V|^2\cdot |E|)$ ${O}(|V|\cdot |E|^2)$ The diameter of a ...
Gigili's user avatar
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40 votes
5 answers
120k views

How to come up with the runtime of algorithms? [duplicate]

I've not gone much deep into CS. So, please forgive me if the question is not good or out of scope for this site. I've seen in many sites and books, the big-O notations like $O(n)$ which tell the ...
Code0987's user avatar
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20 votes
5 answers
628 views

Efficient compression of unlabeled trees

Consider unlabeled, rooted binary trees. We can compress such trees: whenever there are pointers to subtrees $T$ and $T'$ with $T = T'$ (interpreting $=$ as structural equality), we store (w.l.o.g.) $...
Raphael's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
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Type-checking algorithms

I am starting a personal bibliographic research on type-checking algorithms and want some tips. What are the most commonly used type-checking algorithms, strategies and general techniques? I am ...
Victor Stafusa - BozoNaCadeia's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is this finite graph problem decidable? What factors make a problem decidable?

I want to know if the following problem is decidable and how to find out. Every problem I see I can say "yes" or "no" to it, so are most problems and algorithms decidable except a few (which is ...
Gigili's user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
2k views

How fundamental are matroids and greedoids in algorithm design?

Initially, matroids were introduced to generalize the notions of linear independence of a collection of subsets $E$ over some ground set $I$. Certain problems that contain this structure permit greedy ...
Nicholas Mancuso's user avatar
36 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are there improvements on Dana Angluin's algorithm for learning regular sets

In her 1987 seminal paper Dana Angluin presents a polynomial time algorithm for learning a DFA from membership queries and theory queries (counterexamples to a proposed DFA). She shows that if you are ...
Artem Kaznatcheev's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

Algorithm to test whether a binary tree is a search tree and count complete branches

I need to create a recursive algorithm to see if a binary tree is a binary search tree as well as count how many complete branches are there (a parent node with both left and right children nodes) ...
OghmaOsiris's user avatar
24 votes
2 answers
339 views

Is Smoothed Analysis used outside academia?

Did the smoothed analysis find its way into main stream analysis of algorithms? Is it common for algorithm designers to apply smoothed analysis to their algorithms?
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14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Random Sudoku generator

I want to generate a completely random Sudoku. Define a Sudoku grid as a $9\times9$ grid of integers between $1$ and $9$ where some elements can be omitted. A grid is a valid puzzle if there is a ...
Justin's user avatar
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101 votes
3 answers
35k views

How does one know which notation of time complexity analysis to use?

In most introductory algorithm classes, notations like $O$ (Big O) and $\Theta$ are introduced, and a student would typically learn to use one of these to find the time complexity. However, there are ...
Jack H's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
27k views

Evaluating the average time complexity of a given bubblesort algorithm.

Considering this pseudo-code of a bubblesort: ...
Sim's user avatar
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31 votes
7 answers
15k views

Generating Combinations from a set of pairs without repetition of elements

I have a set of pairs. Each pair is of the form (x,y) such that x,y belong to integers from the range [0,n). So, if the n is 4, then I have the following pairs: <...
Ankit's user avatar
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386 votes
12 answers
348k views

Why is quicksort better than other sorting algorithms in practice?

In a standard algorithms course we are taught that quicksort is $O(n \log n)$ on average and $O(n^2)$ in the worst case. At the same time, other sorting algorithms are studied which are $O(n \log n)$ ...
Janoma's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
141 views

Methods to evaluate a system of written rules

I was trying to come up with a system that would evaluate bylaws for an organization as to determine their underlying logic. I think a first-order predicate system would work for representing the ...
jonsca's user avatar
  • 561
8 votes
1 answer
148 views

Find all the special graphs which can reduced to the shortest paths graph

I have a directed weighted graph $G = (V, E, W)$. There is always an edge from a vertex $i$ to another one $j$, the weight $w(i,j)$ could be positive infinity, and there does not exist any negative ...
SoftTimur's user avatar
  • 237
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Subset sum, pseudo-polynomial time dynamic programming solution?

I found the P vs NP problem some time ago and I have recently worked on the subset sum problem. I have read Wikipedia article on the Subset Sum problem as well as the question Subset Sum Algorithm I ...
user avatar
38 votes
2 answers
14k views

Is there a difference between top-down and bottom-up dynamic programming?

Is there a fundamental difference between top-down and bottom-up dynamic programming? In particular, is there a problem which can be solved bottom-up but not top-down? Or is the bottom-up approach ...
user695652's user avatar
25 votes
1 answer
1k views

Compression of domain names

I am curious as to how one might very compactly compress the domain of an arbitrary IDN hostname (as defined by RFC5890) and suspect this could become an interesting challenge. A Unicode host or ...
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