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On the method of divide and conquer for algorithms

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1.1

Steps

1. Divide the problem into smaller problems that are instances of the

same type

2. Conquer the sub problem by solving them recursively. But, if the

sub problems are small enough, just solve them in a straight forward

manner

3. Combine the solutions to the subproblems into the solution for the

original problem.

Generally, a recursive algorithm works by calling itself on smaller instances of the problem.

1. The algorithm is generally made of the 3 steps described above.

2. It receives a set of input

3. It divides the set of input into 2 and calls itself on those 2

4. Each of the subproblems in 3) is again solved from step 2)

Any subproblem that is divisible by the algorithm into subproblems is

called a recursive case.

Any subproblem that is simple enough or not divisble into a smaller

problem is called a base case, and base cases are solved in a straight

forward way

5. The algorithm then combines the solved base cases into solutions and

groups them by their subproblem units. Lets now call them sub solutions. Since the original subproblems were children of a large subproblem, the solutions will belong to parent groups. The assemblage

continues until 2 solution units are obtained. The last 2 solution units

are combined to form a single solution to the original problem.

Another way of looking at the divide and conquer paradigm is as such:

For sorting

2. At this very basic fundamental stage, every single element is solved or

sorted

3. Now group them into groups of two(s) from left to right.

If there are n single elements, and we have groups of two(s), there

we shall have n/2 groups, each with size 2.

Now group the n/2 groups into groups of two(s) again, resulting

into n/4 groups, but make sure that each resulting group is solved.

Continue grouping till you have a situation where n/b = 2. In

this situation we have just 2 groups of solutions which we then

merge to form the result

4. Once we have suciently grouped the subunits to get a single unit of

the solution, we return.

1.2

Recurrences

of its value on smaller inputs.

Recurrences often take a problem with input n and divide it into 2 units:

1. a sub problem of size 1

2. a subproblem of size n-1

Note that (n-1)+1 = n, the original size of the problem

So the recurrence gotten would be:

T(n) = T(n-1) + (1)

1.3

guess

2. Recursion-tree method: Convert recursion into tree whose nodes represent each cost incurred at every level, depicted by the tree.

3. Master method: Used for problems of the form: T(n) = aT(n/b) +

f(n) That is a problem of size n divided into a subproblems each of size

n/b

2

1.4

Notes on Recurrences

odd. Dividing this subproblem into 2 groups leaves on group with size odd.

So taking this into perspective, we actually need floors and Ceilings in

solving recurrences.

So a true recurrence equation is like below:

{

(1)

if n = 1

T(n) =

T (n/2) + T (n/2) + (n)

if n > 1

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