# Tagged Questions

Informally, an algorithm is a set of explicit instructions used to solve a problem (e.g. Euclid's algorithm for computing the greatest common divisor of two integers). For more specific questions on algorithms, this tag may be used in conjunction with the approximation-algorithms, algorithmic-...

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### Examples of algorithms requiring deep mathematics to prove correctness

I am looking for examples of algorithms for which the proof of correctness requires deep mathematics ( far beyond what is covered in a normal computer science course). I hope this is not too broad.
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### What algorithm in algebraic geometry should I work on implementing?

This summer my wife and one of my friends (who are both programmers and undergraduate math majors, but have not learned any algebraic geometry) want to learn some algebraic geometry from me, and I ...
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### How hard is it to compute the number of prime factors of a given integer?

I asked a related question on this mathoverflow thread. That question was promptly answered. This is a natural followup question to that one, which I decided to repost since that question is answered. ...
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### improving known bounds for Pierce expansions; cash prize

Here's a problem that I thought of back in 1978 or so, and only a little progress has been made on it since then. I still think about it from time to time, but probably not that many people have ...
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### What is the time complexity of computing sin(x) to t bits of precision?

Short version of the question: Presumably, it's poly$(t)$. But what polynomial, and could you provide a reference? Long version of the question: I'm sort of surprised to be asking this, because ...
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### What is the easiest randomized algorithm to motivate to the layperson?

When trying to explain complexity theory to laypeople, I often mention randomized algorithms but seemingly lack good examples to motivate their usage. I often want to mention primality testing but ...
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### Why is “P vs. NP” necessarily relevant?

I want to start out by giving two examples: 1) Graham's problem is to decide whether a given edge-coloring (with two colors) of the complete graph on vertices $\lbrace-1,+1\rbrace^n$ contains a ...
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### Does anyone want a pretty Maass form?

A few months ago, I was curious about some properties of Maass cusp forms, of nonabelian arithmetic origin. As a result, I went through a somewhat predictable process of finding a totally real $A_4$ ...
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### Can assignment solve stable marriage?

This is an excellent question asked by one of my students. I imagine the answer is "no", but it doesn't strike me as easy. Recall the set up of the stable marriage problem. We have $n$ men and $n$ ...
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### An edge partitioning problem on cubic graphs

Hello everyone, I already asked this question on the TCS Stack Exchange, but it has not been resolved yet. Maybe readers of this forum will have other ideas or information, although I suspect that ...
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### Are surjectivity and injectivity of polynomial functions from $\mathbb{Q}^n$ to $\mathbb{Q}$ algorithmically decidable?

Is there an algorithm which, given a polynomial $f \in \mathbb{Q}[x_1, \dots, x_n]$, decides whether the mapping $f: \mathbb{Q}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{Q}$ is surjective, respectively, injective? -- And ...
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### How fast can we *really* multiply matrices?

Background: The Strassen Algorithm, described here, has a computational complexity of $\text{O}(n^{2.807})$ for the multiplication of two $n \times n$ matrices (the exponent is $\frac{\log7}{\log2}$). ...
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### Is it decidable whether or not a collection of integer matrices generates a free group?

Suppose we have integer matrices $A_1,\ldots,A_n\in\operatorname{GL}(n,\mathbb Z)$. Define $\varphi:F_n\to\operatorname{GL}(n,\mathbb Z)$ by $x_i\mapsto A_i$. Is there an algorithm to decide whether ...
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### Decidability of equality of expressions built using 1,+,-,*,/,^

Consider expressions built using number $1$, arithmetical operators $+, -, *, /$ and exponentiation ^ (in case of multiple values, the principal value is assumed, the same way as it implemented in ...
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### A small unavoidable collection of subgraphs

What is the smallest number S(k,n) of unlabeled graphs on k vertices such that every simple graph on n vertices contains at least one of these as an induced subgraph? I'd like to avoid exhaustive ...
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### What are the Applications of Hypergraphs

Hypergraphs are like simple graphs, except that instead of having edges that only connect 2 vertices, their edges are sets of any number of vertices. This happens to mean that all graphs are just a ...
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### Groebner basis with group action

At one point my advisor, Mark Haiman, mentioned that it would be nice if there was a way to compute Groebner bases that takes into account a group action. Does anyone know of any work done along ...
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### On certain representations of algebraic numbers in terms of trigonometric functions

Let's say that a real number has a simple trigonometric representation, if it can be represented as a product of zero or more rational powers of positive integers and zero or more (positive or ...
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### What is a good method to find random points on the n-sphere when n is large?

As part of a more complex algorithm, I need a fast method to find random points of the n-sphere, $S^n$, starting with a RNG (random number generator). A simple way to do this (in low dimensions at ...
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### Algorithm for finding the volume of a convex polytope

It's easy to find the area of a convex polygon by division into triangles, but what is the optimal way of finding the volume of higher-dimensional convex bodies? I tried a few methods for dividing ...
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### Securing privacy of “who communicates with whom” under Orwell-like conditions

Assume that there is a big and powerful country with an information-greedy secret service which has backdoors to all internet nodes throughout the world which permit him to observe all exchanged data ...
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### Can Gröbner bases be used to compute solutions to large, real-world problems?

In particular, suppose I have an affine algebraic variety over $\mathbb{R}^n$ described by generators of a radical ideal $I$ and I want to find (perhaps not all of the) points in the variety. Several ...
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### Distinct numbers in multiplication table

Consider multiplication table for numbers $1,2,\cdots, n$. How many different numbers are there? That is how many different numbers of the form $ij$ with $1 \le i, j \le n$ are there? I'm interested ...
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### Groups where word problem is solvable, but not quickly?

Are there finitely generated groups whose word problem is solvable, but not quickly? It would be great to have specific examples, but existence results would also be helpful. All of the groups that ...
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### Decidability of equality of elementary expressions

In the following definition the term expression is to be understood as a finite tree built from formal symbols without any predefined meaning assigned to them. Define the set $\mathcal{E}$ of ...
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### Can one measure the infeasibility of four color proofs?

Terms like "impractical" and "unfeasible" are used to say the Robertson, Sanders, Seymour, and Thomas proof of the four color theorem needs computer assistance. Obviously no precise measure is ...
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### Is there a way of canonically labelling permutation groups?

When working with large numbers of graphs, a canonical labelling routine is essential as, after the initial cost of canonically labelling each graph, it permits isomorphism checks to be replaced with ...
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### does the “convolution theorem” apply to weaker algebraic structures?

The Convolution Theorem is often exploited to compute the convolution of two sequences efficiently: take the (discrete) Fourier transform of each sequence, multiply them, and then perform the inverse ...
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### A generalization of the triangle counting problem for simple weighted graphs

One nice identity is that $$\operatorname{tr}(A^3)/6$$ counts the number of triangles of a graph with adjacency matrix $A$. It also implies that triangle counting in a graph can be performed in sub-...
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### Fastest Algorithm to Compute the Sum of Primes?

Can anyone help me with references to the current fastest algorithms for counting the exact sum of primes less than some number n? I'm specifically curious about the best case running times, of ...
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### Satisfiability of general Boolean formulas with at most two occurrences per variable

(If you know basics in theoretical computer science, you may skip immediately to the dark box below. I thought I would try to explain my question very carefully, to maximize the number of people that ...
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### Determine if circle is covered by some set of other circles

Suppose you have a set of circles $\mathcal{C} = \{ C_1, \ldots, C_n \}$ each with a fixed radius $r$ but varying centre coordinates. Next, you are given a new circle $C_{n+1}$ with the same radius $r$...
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### How can I generate random permutations of [n] with k cycles, where k is much larger than log n?

I've been thinking a lot lately about random permutations. It's well-known that the mean and variance of the number of cycles of a permutation chosen uniformly at random from Sn are both ...
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### duplicate detection problem

Restated from stackoverflow: Given: array a[1:N] consisting of integer elements in the range 1:N Is there a way to detect whether the array is a permutation (no duplicates) or whether it has any ...
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### How hard is it to compute the Euler totient function?

Are there any efficient algorithms for computing the Euler totient function? (It's easy if you can factor, but factoring is hard.) Is it the case that computing this is as hard as factoring? EDIT: ...
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### Proving univariate polynomials (defined by sums, binomial coeffs, etc.) are nonnegative: is it 'routine'?

My colleagues and I are working on a project related to an old paper of C. Borell and we have boiled it down to the following problem: Show, for all integers $1 \leq i \leq k$, that the univariate ...
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### Algorithm generalizing continued fractions for non-quadratic algebraic numbers

The continued fraction algorithm generates an integer sequence which terminates for a rational number, is periodic for the roots of irreducible integer quadratics, and is non-periodic for other ...
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### FFTs over finite fields?

I'm trying to understand how to compute a fast Fourier transform over a finite field. This question arose in the analysis of some BCH codes. Consider the finite field $F$ with $2^n$ elements. It is ...
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### Complexity of testing integer square-freeness

How fast can an algorithm tell if an integer is square-free? I am interested in both deterministic and randomized algorithms. I also care about both unconditional results and ones conditional on GRH ...
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### Generalization of the shakehands/condom puzzle?

The classic handshake puzzle goes something like this: "Given that everyone has a different skin disease, how can you safely shake hands with 3 people when you have only 2 gloves?" Its common ...
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### Mathematics of privacy?

I wonder to which extent the current public debate on privacy issues (not only by state sniffing, but e.g. by microtargetting ads too an issue) offers interesting questions in mathematics? Can we ...
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### How Does One Find the “Loneliest Person on the Planet”?

I'm looking for the algorithm that efficiently locates the "Loneliest Person on the Planet", where "loneliest" is defined as: Maximum minimum distance to another person -- that is, the person for ...
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### Evidence for integer factorization is in $P$

Peter Sarnak believes that integer factorization is in $P$. It is a well-known open problem in TCS to identify the real complexity class of integer factorization. Take a look at this link for Peter ...
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### Algorithms for finding rational points on an elliptic curve?

I am looking for algorithms on how to find rational points on an elliptic curve $$y^2 = x^3 + a x + b$$ where $a$ and $b$ are integers. Any sort of ideas on how to proceed are welcome. For example, ...