Category Archives: combinatorics

Signed sets and ballots and naturality

This is blog post #3 in a series on signed sets and ballots (the previous posts are here and here). Naturality, isomorphism, and equipotence When are two species isomorphic? Since species are, by definition, functors , the obvious answer is … Continue reading

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Signed sets and ballots, part 2

Recall, from my previous post, that our goal is to find a combinatorial proof showing the correspondence between signed sets and signed ballots, where a signed set is just a set of elements, considered positive or negative according to the … Continue reading

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Signed sets and ballots, part 1

The other day, Anders Claesson wrote a very nice blog post explaining a more combinatorial way to understand multiplicative inverses of virtual species (as opposed to the rather algebraic way I explained it in my previous post). In the middle … Continue reading

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Virtual species suffice

Over six years ago, I wrote a post explaining how virtual species are defined. Ever since then (time flies!) I’ve been meaning to write a follow-up post explaining a bit more about virtual species and how they actually suffice to … Continue reading

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Adventures in enumerating balanced brackets

Since I’ve been coaching my school’s ACM ICPC programming team, I’ve been spending a bit of time solving programming contest problems, partly to stay sharp and be able to coach them better, but also just for fun. I recently solved … Continue reading

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The generic-random library, part 1: simple generic Arbitrary instances

In a previous post I pointed out that we know all the theory to make nice, principled, practical random generators for recursive algebraic data types; someone just needed to step up and do the work. Well, Li-yao Xia took up … Continue reading

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Eastman maximal comma-free codes in Haskell

This past January I watched a video of Don Knuth’s most recent annual Christmas lecture. Typically his Christmas lectures have been about trees, but breaking with tradition, he gave this lecture about comma-free codes, and presented an implementation of an … Continue reading

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