# All Questions

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### Show that { xy ∣ |x| = |y|, x ≠ y } is context-free

I remember coming across the following question about a language that supposedly is context-free, but I was unable to find a proof of the fact. Have I perhaps misremembered the question? Anyway, here'...
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2k views

### ML function of type 'a -> 'b

Our professor asked us to think of a function in OCaml that has the type 'a -> 'b i.e. a function of one argument that could be anything, and that can return ...
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 ...
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548 views

### Strategies for becoming unstuck in understanding TCS

I am a graduate student taking a course in theory of computation and I have serious trouble producing content once I'm asked to. I'm able to follow the textbook (Introduction to the Theory of ...
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2k views

### Understanding $\text{handle}$ in parsing problem

Originally https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/22614/help-understand-texthandle-in-parsing-problem but unaswered there The BNF is defined as followed: ...
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7k views

### Universality of the Toffoli gate

Regarding the quantum Toffoli gate: is it classicaly universal, and if so, why? is it quantumly universal, and why?
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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. ...
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360 views

### Proving the security of Nisan-Wigderson pseudo-random number generator

Let $\cal{S}=\{S_i\}_{1\leq i\leq n}$ be a partial $(m,k)$-design and $f: \{0,1\}^m \to \{0,1\}$ be a Boolean function. The Nisan-Wigderson generator $G_f: \{0,1\}^l \to \{0,1\}^n$ is defined as ...
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### Decidability of prefix language

At the midterm there was a variant of the following question: For a decidable $L$ define $$\text{Pref}(L) = \{ x \mid \exists y \text{ s.t. } xy \in L\}$$ Show that $\text{Pref}(L)$ is not ...
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### Decidable non-context-sensitive languages

It is arguable that most languages created to describe everyday problems are context-sensitives. In the other hand, it is possible and not hard to find some languages that are not recursive or even ...
287 views

### Is there an abstract machine that can capture power consumption?

When reporting algorithmic complexity of an algorithm, one assumes the underlying computations are performed on some abstract machine (e.g. RAM) that approximates a modern CPU. Such models allow us to ...
27k 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 ...
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33k views

### Why would anyone want CISC?

In our computer systems lecture we were introduced to the MIPS processor. It was (re)developed over the course of the term and has in fact been quite easy to understand. It uses a RISC design, that is ...
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5k views

### Why are the total functions not enumerable?

We learned about the concept of enumerations of functions. In practice, they correspond to programming languages. In a passing remark, the professor mentioned that the class of all total functions (i....
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98k views

### How to prove that a language is not context-free?

We learned about the class of context-free languages $\mathrm{CFL}$. It is characterised by both context-free grammars and pushdown automata so it is easy to show that a given language is context-free....
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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. ...
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1k views

### Is it possible to solve the halting problem if you have a constrained or a predictable input?

The halting problem cannot be solved in the general case. It is possible to come up with defined rules that restrict allowed inputs and can the halting problem be solved for that special case? For ...
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5k views

### How is a JIT compiler different from an ordinary compiler?

There's been a lot of hype about JIT compilers for languages like Java, Ruby, and Python. How are JIT compilers different from C/C++ compilers, and why are the compilers written for Java, Ruby or ...
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### Are today's massive parallel processing units able to run cellular automata efficiently?

I wonder whether the massively parallel computation units provided in graphic cards nowadays (one that is programmable in OpenCL, for example) are good enough to simulate 1D cellular automata (or ...
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33k views

### (When) is hash table lookup O(1)?

It is often said that hash table lookup operates in constant time: you compute the hash value, which gives you an index for an array lookup. Yet this ignores collisions; in the worst case, every item ...
2k 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,...
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340 views

### Reflection on Concurrency

Reflection is a common mechanism for accessing and changing the structure of a program at run-time, found in many dynamic programming languages such as Smalltalk, Ruby and Python, and in impoverished ...
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194 views

### Influence of the dimension of cellular automata on complexity classes

Let's take as an example the 3d → 2d reduction: What's the cost of simulating a 3d cellular automaton by a 2d cellular automaton? Here is a bunch of more specific questions: What kind of algorithms ...
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1k views

### Parsing arbitrary context-free grammars, mostly short snippets

I want to parse user-defined domain specific languages. These languages are typically close to mathematical notations (I am not parsing a natural language). Users define their DSL in a BNF notation, ...
1k views

### Problems Implementing Closures in Non-functional Settings

In programming languages, closures are a popular and often desired feature. Wikipedia says (emphasis mine): In computer science, a closure (...) is a function together with a referencing ...
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336 views

### Why store self and parent links (. and ..) in a directory entry?

Consider an filesystem targeted at some embedded devices that does little more than store files in a hierarchical directory structure. This filesystem lacks many of the operations you may be used to ...
1k views

### Round-robin scheduling: allow listing a process multiple times?

In a round-robin scheduler, adding a process multiple times to the process list is a cheap way to give it higher priority. I wonder how practical an approach this might be. What benefit does it have ...
1k views

### Are two-level schedulers only useful to manage swapping?

Two-level scheduling is useful when a system is running more processes than fit in RAM: a lower-level scheduler switches between resident processes, and a higher-level scheduler swaps groups of ...
224 views

### Stability for couples in the Stable Matching Problem

In the Stable Matching Problem, it is stated that there can exist cases where the $m$ list of men can be content with their decisions, yet the list of $f$ cannot when the algorithm is run with men's ...
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### Easy reduction from 3SAT to Hamiltonian path problem

There is a reduction in Sipser's book "Introduction to the theory of computation" on page 286 from 3SAT to Hamiltonian path problem. Is there a simpler reduction? By simpler I mean a reduction ...
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880 views

### 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 ...
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3k views

### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Is an inﬁnite union of context-free languages always context-free?

Let $L_1$, $L_2$, $L_3$, $\dots$ be an inﬁnite sequence of context-free languages, each of which is deﬁned over a common alphabet $Σ$. Let $L$ be the inﬁnite union of $L_1$, $L_2$, $L_3$, $\dots$; i....
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### The essential difference between spiking neural networks and earlier generation ANN's

I have been studying Spiking Neural Networks online from various papers, mainly Maass (1997). I am not entirely sure I understand what makes SNN's pulse-code in contrast to earlier ANNs which are ...
2k views

### 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 ...
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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 ...
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119k 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 ...
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### Is there a "natural" undecidable language?

Is there any "natural" language which is undecidable? by "natural" I mean a language defined directly by properties of strings, and not via machines and their equivalent. In other words, if the ...
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