For questions about various search algorithms.

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6
votes
3answers
5k views

Lower bound for finding second largest element

In a recent discussion, I came across the idea of proving a lower bound for the number of comparisons required to find the largest element in an array. The bound is $n - 1$. This is so because the set ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Algorithm wanted: Enumerate all subsets of a set in order of increasing sums

I'm looking for an algorithm but I don't quite know how to implement it. More importantly, I don't know what to google for. Even worse, I'm not sure it can be done in polynomial time. Given a set of ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Median of medians algorithm

I am referring to the algorithm presented here used to find a good pivot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selection_algorithm#Linear_general_selection_algorithm_-_Median_of_Medians_algorithm My ...
10
votes
1answer
196 views

The “find my car” problem: proper interpretation and solution?

This has been asked at least twice here, but both questions have accepted answers which are wrong. I don't really know any good way to draw attention to the question besides asking again and being a ...
12
votes
3answers
782 views

Twenty questions against a liar

Here's one that popped into my mind when I was thinking about binary search. I'm thinking of an integer between 1 and n. You have to guess my number. You win as soon as you guess the correct number. ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

How to search between $n$ candidates from unknown position?

It might be involved more with search algorithm but I cannot think of any of them. Here is the problem: You are in a corridor that stretches infinitely in both directions. Your room is somewhere ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Spacing of fence posts with minimal distance to other fence posts

Definition 1: A "fence" is a set of "fence post positions", where each pair of adjacent positions has the same difference (the spacing), e.g. $\{1,2, 3, 4\}$. A fence is described by three values ...