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### Asymptotic growth of recurrence relation $x_n=\min\limits_{n_1+n_2=n}(a(x_{n_1}+x_{n_2})+2n_1n_2)$

Suppose $a>0$ . Define
$$x_n=\min_{n_1+n_2=n}(a(x_{n_1}+x_{n_2})+2n_1n_2) \text{ with } x_1=0.$$
Can we find $r>0$ such that there exists two positive constant $c_1,c_2$ such that
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### On bounding the average cost of top-down merge sort

Let $A_n$ be the average number of comparisons to sort $n$ keys by merging them in a top-down fashion (see any algorithm textbook). It can he shown that
$$
A_0 = A_1 = 0;\quad A_n = ...