Let p(n) represent the number of different ways in which n coins can be separated into piles. For example, five coins can separated into piles in exactly seven different ways, so p(5)=7.
OOO O O
OO OO O
OO O O O
O O O O O
Find the least value of n for which p(n) is divisible by one million.
// the pentagonal numbers sequence, i.e. 1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 15, 22, ... let pentagonalNumbers = Seq.unfold (fun state -> Some(state, state+1)) 1 |> Seq.collect (fun n -> [n; -1*n]) |> Seq.map (fun n -> int(0.5 * double(n) * double(3 * n - 1))) // the coefficients sequence, i.e. +, +, -, -, +, +, -, -, ... let pCoefficients = Seq.unfold (fun state -> Some(state, -1*state)) 1 |> Seq.collect (fun n -> [n; n]) // cache results to improve performance let mutable cache = Array.init 100000 (fun n -> if n = 0 then 1I else 0I) // define the function p using the pentagonal numbers let rec p k = if cache.[k] <> 0I then cache.[k] else let pSeq = pentagonalNumbers |> Seq.map (fun n -> k - n) |> Seq.takeWhile (fun n -> n >= 0) |> Seq.map p let pk = pCoefficients |> Seq.zip pSeq |> Seq.sumBy (fun (pk, coe) -> pk * bigint(coe)) cache.[k] <- pk pk let answer = Seq.unfold (fun state -> Some(state, state+1)) 1 |> Seq.filter (fun k -> (p k) % 1000000I = 0I) |> Seq.head
Well, this one took some thought and some time to come up with a solution which runs under a minute! A brute force approach simply wouldn’t have worked here as p(k) becomes very large very quickly (p(200) = 3972999029388…). Thankfully, as the wiki page on partition points out, you can build a recurrence for the function p such that:
p(k) = p(k – 1) + p(k – 2) – p(k – 5) – p(k – 7) + p(k – 12) + p(k – 15) – p(k – 22) – …
using pentagonal numbers in the form of
for n running over positive and negative integers (n = 1, –1, 2, –2, 3, –3, …), generating the sequence 1, 2, 5, 7, 12, 15, 22, … The signs in the summation continue to alternate +, +, –, –, +, +, …
Using dynamic programming technique, I’m caching the value of p(k) as they’re generated and in doing so, enabled this solution to run in under 30 seconds.
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I’m an AWS Serverless Hero and the author of Production-Ready Serverless. I have run production workload at scale in AWS for nearly 10 years and I have been an architect or principal engineer with a variety of industries ranging from banking, e-commerce, sports streaming to mobile gaming. I currently work as an independent consultant focused on AWS and serverless.
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