Effective Binary Perspectives in Algorithmic Problem Solving

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The effectiveness of viewing, representing, and manipulating data via binary values is illustrated in the domain of algorithmic problem solving. A variety of illuminating binary aspects, regarded as binary perspectives, are displayed through four lively algorithmic challenges, some of which are two-player games. The illustrations demonstrate the benefits of invoking binary representation of numbers, binary complement, bit-by-bit processing, parity considerations, and the reduction of an integer task into a 0/1 task. The solutions to the challenges are presented gradually, encapsulating general algorithmic considerations and problem-solving methods, including invariant properties, stepwise refinement, processing by atomic components, auxiliary coloring, backward reasoning, and inductive generalization. Each of the illustrations is tied to a variety of referenced algorithmic schemes and applications, which employ the aspects demonstrated in this article. The variety of binary aspects, algorithmic considerations, and problem-solving methods make these illustrations appealing teaching resources for computer science educators, in particular in the domain of algorithms. Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.3.2 [Computers and Education]: Computer and Information Science Education; G.2.1 [Discrete Mathematics]: Combinatorics-Combinatorial algorithms; F.3.1 [Logics and Meanings of Programs]: Specifying and Verifying and Reasoning about Programs-Assertions; invariants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4
Number of pages1
JournalACM Journal on Educational Resources in Computing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2002


  • Algorithmic problem solving
  • Algorithms
  • Design
  • binary representation
  • education
  • games
  • invariant properties


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