Periodic Solution Recurrence Relation

Probably the last post of the year- enjoy the holidays, everyone!

The problem: Periodic Solution Recurrence Relation.  This is problem AN12 in the appendix.

The description: Given a set of m ordered pairs (c_1,b_1) through (c_m, b_m with each b_i >0, can we find a sequence a_0 though a_{n-1} of integers, such that if we build the infinite sequence \displaystyle a_i = \sum^m_{j-1} c_j*a_{i-b_j} is periodic: that is, a_i \equiv a_{i (mod \: n)} for all i?

Example: Here’s a super simple example: m=2 and the pairs are (1,1) and (2,2).  This gives us the recurrence a_i = a_{i-1}  + 2a_{i-2}.  If we start with 1,1, this gives the sequence 1,1,3,5,11,21,43,…  which is periodic mod 10 (the last digit always repeats 1,1,3,5)

Reduction: This shows up in Plaisted’s 1984 paper.  He mentions it as a corollary to his Theorem 5.1 which showed that Non-Trivial Greatest Common Divisor and Root of Modulus 1 were NP-Complete.  Similar to the Root of Modulus 1 problem, we build a polynomial from a set of clauses that has 0’s on the unit circle.  The polynomial also has a leading coefficient of 1.  This means, apparently, that the recurrence relation corresponding to the polynomial has a periodic solution if and only if the polynomial has a root on the complex unit circle, which only happens if the original 3SAT formula was satisfiable.

Difficulty: 8.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *