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$T(N) = N + T(N-3)$

This is what I got so far

$$\begin{align}&= T(N-6) + (N-3)+N\\ &= T(N-9) + (N-6) + (N-3)+N \\ &= T(N-12) + (N-9) + (N-6) + (N-3)+ N\end{align}$$

I think I should use $(n^2 + n) / 2$.

im not sure if im doing it right or not!

Thanks :)

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Welcome to math.SE! It's not hard to type formulas properly here: see this tutorial. For now, I formatted the formulas in your post. –  user53153 Feb 6 '13 at 5:12
$N,N-3,N-6,N-9,\ldots$ form an arithmetic progression. Use the formula for the sum of an AP –  dexter04 Feb 6 '13 at 5:12

1 Answer 1

Note: we generally express functions of integer arguments with subscripts, i.e. $T_n$ rather than $T(n)$.

This is a constant-coefficient difference equation. To specify the solution, you need three initial conditions, say, $T_1$, $T_2$, and $T_3$. In general, the solution takes the form

$$T_n = T_n^{(H)} + T_n^{(I)}$$

where $T_n^{(H)}$ is a homogeneous solution satisfying

$$T_n^{(H)} - T_{n-3}^{(H)} = 0$$

and the initial conditions, and $$T_n^{(I)}$ is an inhomogeneous solution satisfying

$$T_n^{(I)} - T_{n-3}^{(I)} = n$$

The homogeneous piece takes the form $a r^n$ for some (potentially complex) value of $r$. When we plug this into the homogeneous equation, we get


which has solutions $r=1$, $r=\omega = e^{i 2 \pi/3}$, and $r=\omega^2 = e^{i 4 \pi/3}$. The homgeneous solution is then a linear combination of the solutions corresponding to these roots, i.e.,

$$T_n^{(H)} = A + B \omega^n + C \omega^{2 n}$$

where the constants $A$, $B$, and $C$ are determined by the initial conditions.

The inhomogeneous solution is determined by the factor of $n$, and because of the nature of the equation (a difference), we guess it takes the form $T_n^{(I)} = P n + Q n^2$. Plugging this into the equation, we see that

$$3 P + (6 n-9) Q = n$$

which implies that $Q = 1/6$ and $P = 1/2$. The general solution to the equation is then

$$T_n = A + B \omega^n + C \omega^{2 n} + \frac{1}{6} n (n+3)$$

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