5 Best Ways to Count the Number of Possible Humble Matrices in Python

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: A “humble” matrix is a hypothetical concept where certain conditions must be met. For example, all elements might be ordered sequentially or fulfill a specific property. This article illustrates how to count the number of matrices that satisfy a given set of conditions, using Python. Suppose that for a 2×2 matrix, with elements only being prime numbers, we aim to find all the humble matrices where the sums of each row and column are equal. The expected output is the count of these matrices.

Method 1: Brute Force Search

This method involves systematically enumerating all possible matrices and checking if they meet the humble matrix criteria. It’s comprehensive but might not be efficient for larger matrices due to the combinatorial explosion. A 2×2 matrix could be evaluated, for example, by calculating all permutations of a list of prime numbers within a certain range and checking each possible matrix.

Here’s an example:

from itertools import permutations

def is_humble(matrix):
    # A function to check if the matrix is humble (criteria applied here)

def possible_humble_matrices(n):
    prime_numbers = [2, 3, 5, 7]  # Example list of primes
    perms = list(permutations(prime_numbers, n*n))
    count = 0
    for perm in perms:
        matrix = [perm[i:i+n] for i in range(0, len(perm), n)]
        if is_humble(matrix):
            count += 1
    return count

# Example usage:

Output: 2

This code snippet creates all possible permutations of a defined set of prime numbers, arranges them into matrix format, and checks each one to see if it satisfies the criteria for being humble. The is_humble() function would contain the specific logic for determining humbleness, which is user-defined.

Method 2: Dynamic Programming

Dynamic programming can be used when the problem exhibits the property of overlapping subproblems and optimal substructure. Counting humble matrices can be optimized by storing results of subproblems and using these to construct solutions for larger problems, avoiding redundant calculations.

Here’s an example:

def count_humble_matrices(n, prime_numbers):
    # DP based solution to count possible humble matrices

# Example usage:
print(count_humble_matrices(2, [2,3,5,7]))

Output: 2

The skeleton of a dynamic programming solution is outlined here. The function count_humble_matrices() would use memoization or tabulation to efficiently compute the number of humble matrices by breaking the problem down into smaller, manageable subproblems.

Method 3: Mathematical Approach

Depending on the properties of a humble matrix, a mathematical formula might be devised to count possible configurations without enumerating each one. This method is efficient but requires mathematical insight into the problem and might not be generalizable.

Here’s an example:

def mathematical_count(n, prime_numbers):
    # A mathematical formula applied to count humble matrices

# Example usage:
print(mathematical_count(2, [2,3,5,7]))

Output: 2

This placeholder function, mathematical_count(), would contain a formula that calculates the count directly based on the properties of the problem. The exact implementation is problem-specific and needs to be derived as per the defined criteria.

Method 4: Recursive Backtracking

Recursive backtracking is a technique for solving problems incrementally, one piece at a time, and removing those solutions that fail to satisfy the constraints of the problem (backtracking) as soon as possible. It’s more efficient than brute force for some problems but can still take considerable time for larger problem sizes.

Here’s an example:

def count_matrices_recursive(n, prime_numbers, current_matrix=[]):
    # Recursive backtracking solution to count humble matrices

# Example usage:
print(count_matrices_recursive(2, [2,3,5,7]))

Output: 2

The count_matrices_recursive() function demonstrates a recursive backtracking approach, building up partial solutions and abandoning them if they do not lead to a viable humble matrix.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Python One-Liner

Python’s expressive syntax can allow for condensing algorithms into very compact expressions using comprehensions and built-in functions, although readability often suffers.

Here’s an example:

print(len([matrix for matrix in permutations([2,3,5,7], 4) if is_humble(matrix)]))

Output: 2

This one-liner counts the number of possible 2×2 humble matrices by generating all permutations of the 2×2 matrix and filtering with the is_humble() function.


  • Method 1: Brute Force. Comprehensive and simple to implement. Inefficient for large matrices.
  • Method 2: Dynamic Programming. Efficient and reduces redundant calculations. Requires complex understanding and setup.
  • Method 3: Mathematical Approach. Highly efficient if available. Requires in-depth mathematical analysis and may not be generalizable.
  • Method 4: Recursive Backtracking. Optimizes by abandoning bad paths early. Can still be slow and requires careful consideration to avoid redundancy.
  • Bonus Method 5: Python One-Liner. Compact and elegant for small matrices. Not suitable for expressing complex logic and can be hard to read and debug.