Lately, I've come across several programming competitions with a strong mathematical component. You would think that this would be my strong suit, but I actually struggled on a few of them. For this reason, I'll write about some of the solutions here.

## Sharing Candies

Here's Sharing Candies from CodeChef.

Alvin and Berto have gotten tired of eating chocolates, so now they have decided to eat candies instead.

Alvin has $A$ apple candies, and Berto has $B$ banana candies. (I know, they have weird tastes.) Alvin and Berto always wants the split of candies to be as fair as possible. The problem is, Alvin only wants apple candies and Berto only wants banana candies!

Here comes Chef to the rescue! Chef bought an infinite number of candy packs. There are two types of packs:

- Packs containing exactly $C$ apple candies.
- Packs containing exactly $D$ banana candies.
Chef wants to give some (could be zero) apple candy packs to Alvin and some (could be zero) banana candy packs to Berto in such a way that the absolute difference between the number of candies they have is minimized. What is this minimum absolute difference?

Note that Chef doesn't want to open any pack; he gives each pack in full.

Let $x$ be the number of packs of apple candies that Chef gives Alvin and $y$ be the number of packs of banana candies. The absolute difference can be written \begin{equation} \left|(A + xC) - (B + yD)\right| = \left|(A - B) + (xC - yD)\right|. \end{equation}

Let $d$ be the greatest common denominator of $C$ and $D$. Then, by Bézout's identity, we have that \begin{equation} xC - yD = kd \end{equation} for any $k$ and some $x$ and $y$. Moreover, every integer solution $(x^\prime,y^\prime)$ belongs to the set \begin{equation} S_{x,y,k} = \left\{\left(x + l\frac{D}{d}, y + l\frac{C}{d}\right) : l \in \mathbb{Z}\right\}. \end{equation}

By choosing large $l$, we can have both $x^\prime \geq 0$ and $y ^\prime \geq 0$, so we have a nonnegative integer solutions. Thus, our solution is \begin{equation} \min\left(\left|A - B\right| \bmod d, d - \left(\left|A - B\right| \bmod d\right)\right) \end{equation} since those are two numbers closet to $0$ we can get by adding or subtracting $k$ to $A - B$. Note that we don't actually have to calculate $x$ and $y$, so we just find $d$ with the Euclidean algorithm. Here's the code.

```
#include <algorithm>
#include <cmath>
#include <climits>
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
long long computeGcd(long long a, long long b) {
if (a < b) swap(a, b);
// now a >= b
if (b == 0) return a;
long long q = a/b;
a -= q*b;
return computeGcd(b, a);
}
long long minimizeDifference(long long A, long long B,
long long C, long long D) {
long long delta = A > B ? A - B : B - A;
long long gcd = computeGcd(C, D);
return min(delta % gcd, gcd - (delta % gcd));
}
int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
ios::sync_with_stdio(false); cin.tie(NULL);
int T; cin >> T;
for (int t = 0; t < T; ++t) {
long long A, B, C, D;
cin >> A >> B >> C >> D;
cout << minimizeDifference(A, B, C, D) << '\n';
}
cout << flush;
return 0;
}
```

## Bear and Tower of Cubes

Here's Bear and Tower of Cubes from Codeforces.

Limak is a little polar bear. He plays by building towers from blocks. Every block is a cube with positive integer length of side. Limak has infinitely many blocks of each side length.

A block with side a has volume $a^3$. A tower consisting of blocks with sides $a_1,a_2,\ldots,a_k$ has the total volume $a_1^3 + a_2^3 + \cdots + a_k^3$.

Limak is going to build a tower. First, he asks you to tell him a positive integer $X$ — the required total volume of the tower. Then, Limak adds new blocks greedily, one by one. Each time he adds the biggest block such that the total volume doesn't exceed $X$.

Limak asks you to choose $X$ not greater than $m$. Also, he wants to maximize the number of blocks in the tower at the end (however, he still behaves greedily). Secondarily, he wants to maximize $X$.

Can you help Limak? Find the maximum number of blocks his tower can have and the maximum $X \leq m$ that results this number of blocks.

The key observation to make that I missed is realize that if $a$ is the greatest integer such that $a^3 \leq m$, then we should choose the first block to have length either $a$ or $a-1$.

For a proof of this fact, suppose that we choose our first block to be of length $b$. Then, it must be true that $b^3 \leq X \lneq (b+1)^3$. Our new volume limit is then $X - b^3$ after choosing a block of length $b$. Now, note that \begin{equation} 0 \leq X - b^3 < (b+1)^3 - b^3 = 3b^2 + 3b = 3b(b+1), \end{equation} In this way, the upper bound of our new volume limit $m^\prime = X - b^3$ increases as a function of $b$. Thus, it makes sense to choose $b$ as large as possible. But if we choose $b = a$, then $0 \leq m^\prime \leq m - a^3$ since it's possible that $m$ is not much larger than $a^3$.

Thus, for every volume limit we choose a block of length $a$ or $a - 1$. Since the volume limit decreases quickly, we can just use a brute force recursive solution and keep track of the number of blocks and total volume as we go. Here's the code.

```
#include <cmath>
#include <iostream>
#include <utility>
using namespace std;
pair<int, long long> findMaxBlocksAndVolumeHelper(long long volumeLimit,
int currentBlocks,
long long currentVolume) {
if (volumeLimit == 0) return make_pair(currentBlocks, currentVolume);
long long maxA = floor(cbrt(volumeLimit));
pair<int, long long> bigBlockState = findMaxBlocksAndVolumeHelper(volumeLimit - maxA*maxA*maxA,
currentBlocks + 1,
currentVolume + maxA*maxA*maxA);
if (maxA > 1) {
pair<int, long long> smallBlockState = findMaxBlocksAndVolumeHelper(maxA*maxA*maxA - 1 - (maxA - 1)*(maxA - 1)*(maxA - 1),
currentBlocks + 1,
currentVolume + (maxA - 1)*(maxA - 1)*(maxA - 1));
if (smallBlockState.first > bigBlockState.first ||
(smallBlockState.first == bigBlockState.first && smallBlockState.second > bigBlockState.second))
return smallBlockState;
}
return bigBlockState;
}
pair<int, long long> findMaxBlocksAndVolume(long long volumeLimit) {
return findMaxBlocksAndVolumeHelper(volumeLimit, 0, 0);
}
int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
ios::sync_with_stdio(false); cin.tie(NULL);
long long M; cin >> M;
pair<int, long long> blockVolume = findMaxBlocksAndVolume(M);
cout << blockVolume.first << ' ' << blockVolume.second << endl;
return 0;
}
```

## Longest Increasing Subsequences

In another, CodeChef problem Longest Increasing Subsequences, we make use of Ternary numerical system.

Chef recently learned about the classic Longest Increasing Subsequence problem. However, Chef found out that while the length of the longest increasing subsequence is unique, the longest increasing subsequence itself is not necessarily unique; for example, in the array $[1, 3, 2, 4]$, there are two longest increasing subsequences: $[1, 3, 4]$ and $[1, 2, 4]$.

Chef decided to investigate on this more, and now he has sufficient mastery in it that he was able to come up with a problem:

Given an integer $K$, output an integer $N$ and a permutation of the array $[1, 2,\ldots, N]$ such that there are exactly $K$ longest increasing subsequences. Chef also requires that $1 \leq N \leq 100$, otherwise he found the problem is too easy.

In case there are multiple possible answers, any one will be accepted.

Consider blocks of decreasing sequences $B_1, B_2,\ldots,B_n$, where for all $x \in B_i$ and $y \in B_j$, $x < y$ if $i < j$. For example, we might have $n = 3$ and \begin{align*} B_1 &= [5,4,3,2,1] \\ B_2 &= [8,7,6] \\ B_3 &= [10,9]. \end{align*} If we concatenate these sequences, we have a permutation of $[1,2,...,10]$ such that length of a longest increasing sequence is 3. We can make any such sequence by choosing exactly one number from each block. Thus, the number of such sequences is $5 \times 3 \times 2 = 30$ in this case.

Now imagine all the blocks are of the same size, say $k$. We want to maximize the number of sequences that we can encode with such blocks. Fix $N$. Then, we have about $N/k$ blocks that can represent $f_N(k) = k^{N/k}$ longest increasing sequences with this strategy. We have that \begin{equation} f_N^\prime(k) = N\exp\left(\frac{N}{k}\log k\right) \frac{1 - \log k}{k^2}, \end{equation} so $f$ is maximized when at $e$. Since $k$ must be an integer, we set $k = \lceil e \rceil = 3$. Thus, our block size is fixed to be size $3$.

Now, suppose that we write \begin{equation} K = d_0 + d_13 + d_23^2 + \cdots + d_n3^n = \sum_{j = 0}^nd_j3^j, \end{equation} where $d_n \neq 0$. Suppose that $K \geq 9$, too. Then, we have $n$ blocks, $B_1,B_2,\ldots,B_n$ of size 3. If $d_n = 2$, we actually let $B_1$ be of size $6$. In this way, by concatenating $B_1,B_2,\ldots,B_n$ we have $d_n3^n$ longest increasing sequences.

Now suppose that $d_j > 0$. We can add $d_j3^j$ sequences by inserting a sequence between $B_{n - j}$ and $B_{n - j + 1}$. If $d_j = 1$, we need to add an increasing sequence of length $n - j$ such that all the numbers are greater than those in $B_{n-j}$ but less than those in $B_{n - j + 1}$. If $d_j = 2$, we add an increasing sequence of length $n - j + 1$ with the same properties, but we transpose the first numbers. As an example, consider $K = 71 = 2 \cdot 3^0 + 2 \cdot 3^1 + 3^2 + 2 \cdot 3^3$. We'll have 3 blocks. Since no $d_j = 0$, we need to interleave a sequence between every block. Thus, our complete sequence will be $$ \overbrace{[14,13,12,11,10,9]}^{B_1} [8] \overbrace{[17,16,15]}^{B_2} [6,5,7] \overbrace{[20,19,18]}^{B_3} [2,1,3,4], $$ which gives exactly $K = 71$ longest increasing sequences.

When $K < 9$, we can simple just use the sequence $[K,K-1,\ldots, 1]$. Here's the code.

```
#include <algorithm>
#include <iostream>
#include <iterator>
#include <vector>
using namespace std;
const int MAX_N = 100;
vector<int> makeSequence(int K) {
if (K <= 8) { // subsequences of length 1
vector<int> sequence(K);
for (int i = 0; i < K; ++i) sequence[i] = K - i;
return sequence;
}
int bitCount = 0;
vector<int> base3K;
do {
base3K.push_back(K % 3);
K /= 3;
} while (K > 0);
/* maxBit this is the length of the longest increasing subsequence,
* K = d_0*3^0 + d_1*3^1 + ... + d_maxBit*3^maxBit
*/
int maxBit = base3K.size() - 1;
int N = 3*maxBit;
if (base3K.back() == 2) N += 3;
for (int i = 0; i <= maxBit - 1; ++i) {
if (base3K[i] > 0) {
N += maxBit - i;
if (base3K[i] == 2) ++N;
}
}
vector<int> sequence(N);
int currentIdx = 1;
int endCursor = N;
for (int i = 0; i < maxBit; ++i) { // interleave to get other ternary
if (base3K[i] > 0) {
int j = endCursor - (maxBit - i);
if (base3K[i] == 2) --j;
for (; j < endCursor; ++j) {
sequence[j] = currentIdx++;
}
endCursor -= maxBit - i;
if (base3K[i] == 2) { // if digit is 2
--endCursor;
swap(sequence[endCursor], sequence[endCursor + 1]);
}
}
sequence[--endCursor] = N - 2;
sequence[--endCursor] = N - 1;
sequence[--endCursor] = N;
N -= 3;
}
if (endCursor > 0) { // first digit in base 3 is 2
sequence[--endCursor] = N - 2;
sequence[--endCursor] = N - 1;
sequence[--endCursor] = N;
N -= 3;
swap(sequence[0], sequence[3]);
swap(sequence[1], sequence[4]);
swap(sequence[2], sequence[5]);
}
return sequence;
}
int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
ios::sync_with_stdio(false); cin.tie(NULL);
int T; cin >> T;
for (int t = 0; t < T; ++t) {
int K; cin >> K;
vector<int> sequence = makeSequence(K);
cout << sequence.size() << '\n';
copy(sequence.begin(), sequence.end() - 1, ostream_iterator<int>(cout, " "));
cout << sequence.back() << '\n';
}
cout << flush;
return 0;
}
```

## Chef and Super Array

Another problem from CodeChef is Chef and Super Array.

Chef has a an array $A$ consisting of $N$ elements. He wants to add some elements into the array as per the below mentioned process.

After each minute, Chef iterates over the array in order from left to right, and takes every two neighbouring pair of elements, say $x$ and $y$, he adds a new element $x + y$ in the middle of elements $x$ and $y$.

For example, if initial array $A = \{1, 6, 9\}$.

- After first minute, the array A will be equal to $\{1, \mathbf{7}, 6, \mathbf{15}, 9\}$. Please note that the elements shown in the bold font are the newly added elements during first minute. As you can observe that $7 = 1 + 6$, and $15 = 6 + 9$.
- After second minute, the array will be $\{1, \mathbf{8}, 7, \mathbf{13}, 6, \mathbf{21}, 15, \mathbf{24}, 9\}$. Once again, elements added during the second minute, are shown in bold.
Chef wants to know the sum of elements between $x$th and $y$th positions in the array $A$ (i.e. $A_x + A_{x + 1} + \cdots + A_y$) after $m$ minutes. As the answer could be large, output it modulo $10^9+7 = 1000000007$. Please note that we use $1$-based indexing in the problem.

The important thing to note in this problem is the recursive structure of it. Consider an array $A = \{A_1,A_2,\ldots,A_N\}$. Let $A_i = a$ and $A_{i+1} = b$. Let $S_{a,b}(k)$ be the sum of elements between $a$ and $b$ after $k$ steps of the process. Clearly, $S_{a,b}(0) = 0$. Now, suppose $c$ is between $a$ and $b$. After a step, c appears $3$ times, and we add an additional $a$ and $b$. For example, $\{a,c,b\}$ becomes $\{a, a + c, c, b + c, b\}$. Thus, $S_{a,b}(k + 1) = 3S_{a,b}(k) + (a + b)$. Since we can write $S_{a,b}(0) = (3^0 - 1)\frac{a + b}{2},$ we have that in general, \begin{equation} S_{a,b}(k) = \left(3^k - 1\right)\frac{a + b}{2}. \label{eqn:sum_between} \end{equation}

Now if we use $0$-indexing, element $i$ of array $A$ has index $i2^m$ after $m$ steps. Suppose that we want to sum elements up to index $x$. If $i2^m \leq x$, we can simply use Equation \ref{eqn:sum_between} with $a = A_{i-1}$ and $b = A_i$.

What about the case when $(i-1)2^m \leq x < i2^m$ in general? Let $a = A_{i-1}$, $b = A_i$ and $c = a + b$. Set $x^\prime = x - (i-1)2^m$. Let $T_{a,b,m,x^\prime}$ be the sum of elements with indices from $(i-1)2^m$ to $x$. We have that \begin{equation} T_{a,b,m,x^\prime} = \begin{cases} a, &x^\prime = 0 \\ a + \left(3^m - 1\right)\frac{a + b}{2}, &x^\prime = 2^m - 1 \\ T_{a,c,m - 1, x^\prime}, &x^\prime < 2^{m - 1} \\ a + \left(3^{m - 1} - 1\right)\frac{a + c}{2} + T_{a,c,m - 1, x^\prime - 2^{m - 1}}, &x^\prime \geq 2^{m - 1} \end{cases} \end{equation} since we can imagine that the process starts after $1$ step and reaches this point after $m - 1$ steps. Here's the code for this.

```
#include <algorithm>
#include <iostream>
#include <iterator>
#include <vector>
using namespace std;
const int MOD = 1000000007;
const int MAX_M = 30;
long long p2[MAX_M + 1];
long long p3[MAX_M + 1];
/* consider the subarray newA[k],...,newA[l] after m minutes
* where newA[k] = a, newA[l] = b
*/
int subSum(int i, int a, int b, int m) {
if (i == 0) return a;
if (i == p2[m] - 1) return (a + (a + b)*(p3[m] - 1)/2) % MOD;
if (i < p2[m - 1]) return subSum(i, a, a + b, m - 1);
return (subSum(p2[m - 1] - 1, a, a + b, m - 1) + subSum(i - p2[m - 1], a + b, b, m - 1)) % MOD;
}
// find the sum of newA[0], newA[1],...,newA[i]
int cumulativeSum(long long i, const vector<int> &A, int m) {
if (i < 0) return 0;
int idx = 0;
int S = 0;
// in new array A[idx] is located at index idx*2^m
while (idx*p2[m] <= i) {
S += subSum(min(p2[m] - 1, i - idx*p2[m]), A[idx], A[idx + 1], m);
S %= MOD;
++idx;
}
return S;
}
int sum(const vector<int> &A, int m, long long x, long long y) {
int S = cumulativeSum(y, A, m) - cumulativeSum(x - 1, A, m);
S %= MOD;
if (S < 0) S += MOD;
return S;
}
int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {
ios::sync_with_stdio(false); cin.tie(NULL);
// precompute powers of 2 and 3
p2[0] = 1LL; p3[0] = 1LL;
for (int i = 1; i <= MAX_M; ++i) {
p2[i] = p2[i - 1]*2LL; p3[i] = p3[i - 1]*3LL;
}
// run through test cases
int T; cin >> T;
for (int t = 0; t < T; ++t) {
int N, m;
long long x, y;
cin >> N >> m;
cin >> x >> y;
--x; --y; // 0-index
vector<int> A; A.reserve(N + 1);
for (int i = 0; i < N; ++i) {
int a; cin >> a; A.push_back(a);
}
A.push_back(0); // dummy number padding
cout << sum(A, m, x, y) << '\n';
}
cout << flush;
return 0;
}
```

## New Comment

## Comments

No comments have been posted yet. You can be the first!