# Questions tagged [optimization]

Questions about problems that entail selecting the best element from some set of available alternatives, and methods to solve them.

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### What is a the fastest sorting algorithm for an array of integers?

I have come across many sorting algorithms during my high school studies. However, I never know which is the fastest (for a random array of integers). So my questions are: Which is the fastest ...
2answers
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3answers
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### Why are NP-complete problems so different in terms of their approximation?

I'd like to begin the question by saying I'm a programmer, and I don't have a lot of background in complexity theory. One thing that I've noticed is that while many problems are NP-complete, when ...
1answer
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### 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 ...
2answers
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### Collectively pay the bill problem

There are $n$ people at a table. The $i$th person has to pay $p_i$ dollars. Some people don't have the right bills to pay exactly $p_i$, so they come up with the following algorithm. First, ...
3answers
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1answer
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### Mathematical optimization on a noisy function

Let $f:\mathbb{R}^d \to \mathbb{R}$ be a function that is fairly nice (e.g., continuous, differentiable, not too many local maxima, maybe concave, etc.). I want to find a maxima of $f$: a value \$x \...