[Python-ideas] Powerset

Wes Turner wes.turner at gmail.com
Tue Oct 16 06:45:44 EDT 2018

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, Greg Ewing <greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz>

> Wes Turner wrote:
>> Is there a name for an iteration of the powerset which is more useful for
>> binary search? I.e. instead of starting with null set, start with the
>> "middle" ( r/2 ).
> You'll have to provide more detail about what you want to search
> and how you intend to search it. There isn't a single "middle" to
> the set of powersets, since in general there are many subsets with
> about half the elements of the original set. Also there is no
> obvious ordering to use for bisection.

When searching for combinations of factors which most correlate to the
dependent variable, it doesn't always make sense to start with single
factors; especially when other factors 'cancel out'.

For example, in clinical medicine, differential diagnosis is a matter of
determining what the most likely diagnosis/es is/are; given lots of noise
and one or more differentiating factors.

Testing individual factors first may not be the most efficient because
combinations/permutations are more likely to be highly correlated with
specific diagnoses.

Random search of the powerset and mutation (or a neuralnet) may be faster
anyways. Just wondering whether there's a name for differently ordered
powerset (and Cartesian product) traversals?

Obviously, this is combinatorics and set theory (category theory (HOTT));
here in the itertools library for iterables.

> --
> Greg
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