Tagged Questions

The theory of error-correcting codes stems from Shannon's 1948 _A mathematical theory of communication_, and from Hamming's 1950 "Error detecting and error correcting codes".

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What measurable quantity can constrain the number of odors human can discriminate?

This is not a very typical MO question, but I hope you bear with me. It concerns a recent disagreement in the biology literature about how many different odors humans can discriminate. The authors of ...
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“The Two Sheriffs” puzzle

This puzzle is taken from the book Mathematical puzzles: a connoisseur's collection by P. Winkler. Two sheriffs in neighboring towns are on the track of a killer, in a case involving eight ...
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What is the complexity of this problem?

Recently on Dick Lipton and Ken Regan's blog there was a post about problems of intermediate complexity, that is, NP problems that are harder than P but easier than NP-complete. The main message of ...
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Codes, lattices, vertex operator algebras

At the end of "Notes on Chapter 1" in the Preface to the Third Edition of Sphere packings, lattices and groups, Conway and Sloane write the following: Finally, we cannot resist calling attention ...
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Can you cover the Boolean cube {0,1}^n with O(1) Hamming-balls each of radius n/2-c*sqrt(n)?

(where c>0 and the balls need not be disjoint?) This is an embarrassingly simple question, yet somehow I couldn't find an answer (not even, "this is a well-known open problem") after spending some ...
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How to keep subsets disjoint?

Given positive integers $n$ and $k\le 2^n$, how to choose a subset $C\subset\{0,1\}^n$ of size $|C|=k$ to maximize the number of pairs $(c_1,c_2)\in C\times C$ with the supports of $c_1$ and $c_2$ ...
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A question on representation of graphs

Take a complete graph $K_n$. You want to assign a vectors from $\Bbb F_2^d$ to every edge such that sum of vectors in every simple cycle does not sum to $0$ vector. The question is what is minimum $d$ ...
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Maximum number of vectors in a hypercube satisfying given conditions

$\mathcal{C}$ is a collection of binary vectors of length $n$, i.e. $\mathcal{C}\subseteq\{0,1\}^n$. For arbitrary $x,y,z\in\mathcal{C}$ and $x\neq z$, $y\neq z$, there always holds that the Euclidean ...
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“The Two Sheriffs” puzzle -2: threshold for security

I've already asked a question “The Two Sheriffs” puzzle with wrong assumption. Yoav Kallus in his amazing answer using Fano plane showed that the problem has a solution in the case of seven suspects. ...
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MacWilliams Identity for Asymptotic Weight Spectrum of a Code

Introduction Let $C$ be a code of block length $n$ having $A_i^C$ words of Hamming weight $i$, for $i\in [n]$, where $[n]:=\{0,\ldots,n\}$. Then, the sequence $\{ A_i^C \}_{i \in [n]}$ is called the ...
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How small parallelograms are we guaranteed to get, when we select the two sides from different plane lattices?

Title question description: Select two lattices $\Lambda_1$ and $\Lambda_2$ (here a lattice=additive free abelian group without accumulation points) of maximal rank two in the real plane. We normalize ...
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“sparse graphs are locally tree-like”

I would like to be able to state with confidence that sparse graphs (graphs with small numbers of edges) are locally tree-like (they have few short cycles). Apparently "Sparse graphs are locally tree ...
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Error correcting codes - basic question

Hi, I have a basic question regarding error correcting codes. Suppose I want to encode a finite information $F$ (say a finite string) into a string $x$ of $n$ bits ($n$ can be as large as you want), ...
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12 balls weighing puzzle

In an article describing the twelve balls weighing problem, the author mentions a solution that involves the finite projective plane of order 3, discovered by Rick Wilson. Does anyone know what this ...