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Advanced sudoku-solving seems rather streamlined:

  • for each square write down the acceptable values
  • Using a standard set of techniques - many of which I did not know by name - deduce the values of certain squares or rule out possibilities.

There seem to be a few more techniques with interesting names:




unique rectangle

Can matroid theory offer a general framework for these techniques?

What happens when you try to solve the "generalized" sudoku's you see in magazines? I try to imagine the numbers 1..9 like basis vectors in some crazy vector-space-like object and we need to check these "independence" conditions as we look from various angles. Can this be formalized?

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Isn't there already a general framework for Sudoku-like problems?: – Sam Hopkins Jun 14 '13 at 16:06
Matroids can help with Sudoku verification. See and… – Tony Huynh Jun 14 '13 at 16:42
It will be worth my time to study Knuth's "dancing links" algorithm! – john mangual Jun 14 '13 at 18:22
A very closely related MO question (a duplicate perhaps?): – Timothy Chow Jun 14 '13 at 20:54

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