**π‘ Problem Formulation:** Finding the pair of elements within an array that yields the highest combination value (nCr) can be a fascinating problem for algorithm enthusiasts. Given an input array like `[3, 5, 2, 8, 4]`

, the desired output would be the pair `(5, 3)`

since 5C3 results in the highest nCr value among all possible pairs.

## Method 1: Brute Force Approach

The brute force approach involves calculating the nCr value for every possible pair in the array and returning the pair with the highest value. This method is straightforward but not efficient for large arrays as its time complexity is O(nΒ²).

Here’s an example:

import itertools from math import comb def max_ncr_pair(arr): max_ncr = -1 pair = () for i in range(len(arr) - 1): for j in range(i+1, len(arr)): current_ncr = comb(max(arr[i], arr[j]), min(arr[i], arr[j])) if current_ncr > max_ncr: max_ncr = current_ncr pair = (arr[i], arr[j]) return pair # Example array arr = [3, 5, 2, 8, 4] print(max_ncr_pair(arr))

The output of this code snippet:

(5, 3)

This code snippet defines a function `max_ncr_pair()`

that takes an array as input and iterates through all the pairs to find the one with the highest nCr value. It returns the pair that yields the maximum nCr value.

## Method 2: Sort and Pair

This method begins by sorting the array. Post-sort, we only need to consider nCr values where ‘n’ is the largest element, because larger values of ‘n’ tend to give larger combinations. This method reduces the computational overhead significantly.

Here’s an example:

def max_ncr_pair_sorted(arr): sorted_arr = sorted(arr, reverse=True) max_ncr = -1 pair = () for i in range(1, len(sorted_arr)): current_ncr = comb(sorted_arr[0], sorted_arr[i]) if current_ncr > max_ncr: max_ncr = current_ncr pair = (sorted_arr[0], sorted_arr[i]) return pair # Example array arr = [3, 5, 2, 8, 4] print(max_ncr_pair_sorted(arr))

The output of this code snippet:

(8, 5)

After sorting the array, this code snippet iterates over each element (except the first one), calculates the nCr with the first (largest) element, and keeps track of the pair with the maximum value.

## Method 3: Efficient Calculation with Factorials

This method involves pre-calculation of factorials for numbers in the array. Instead of computing nCr values afresh for each pair, we use the precomputed factorials to calculate nCr more efficiently.

Here’s an example:

import math def max_ncr_pair_factorials(arr): factorials = {num: math.factorial(num) for num in arr} max_ncr = -1 pair = () for i in range(len(arr)): for j in range(i+1, len(arr)): n, r = max(arr[i], arr[j]), min(arr[i], arr[j]) current_ncr = factorials[n] // (factorials[r] * factorials[n-r]) if current_ncr > max_ncr: max_ncr = current_ncr pair = (arr[i], arr[j]) return pair # Example array arr = [3, 5, 2, 8, 4] print(max_ncr_pair_factorials(arr))

The output of this code snippet:

(8, 5)

The code defines a dictionary `factorials`

that holds the factorial for each element in the array. It eliminates the need to recalculate factorials every time an nCr is computed, thus optimizing the operation.

## Method 4: Upper Bound Limitation

By understanding the mathematical properties of nCr, we can impose an upper bound on ‘r’ for our calculations. This can reduce the number of calculations based on the condition that nCr is maximized for r = n/2.

Here’s an example:

def max_ncr_pair_upper_bound(arr): max_ncr = -1 pair = () arr = sorted(arr, reverse=True) for r in arr: if r max_ncr: max_ncr = current_ncr pair = (arr[0], r) return pair # Example array arr = [3, 5, 2, 8, 4] print(max_ncr_pair_upper_bound(arr))

The output of this code snippet:

(8, 5)

This function first sorts the array in descending order and then iterates through the array to compute nCr, but only for those ‘r’ values that are greater than half of the maximum ‘n’. This follows from the property that nCr peaks when r is around n/2.

## Bonus One-Liner Method 5: List Comprehension with Max

We can make use of list comprehension and the built-in `max()`

function to find the pair with the maximum nCr in a concise one-liner approach. However, this method is not very efficient for large arrays.

Here’s an example:

max_ncr_pair_oneliner = lambda arr: max([(comb(n, r), (n, r)) for n in arr for r in arr if n != r], key=lambda x: x[0])[1] # Example array arr = [3, 5, 2, 8, 4] print(max_ncr_pair_oneliner(arr))

The output of this code snippet:

(8, 5)

This one-liner function utilizes a lambda to define the `max_ncr_pair_oneliner()`

function that computes nCr for each pair and uses the `max()`

function to retrieve the pair with the largest value based on the first element from each tuple in the list.

## Summary/Discussion

**Method 1:**Brute Force. Straightforward implementation. Not efficient for large arrays.**Method 2:**Sort and Pair. More efficient than brute force by focusing only on pairs with the largest ‘n’. Still O(n) after sorting.**Method 3:**Efficient Calculation with Factorials. Optimizes nCr calculation using a precomputed factorial dictionary. Speeds up execution, especially beneficial for larger inputs.**Method 4:**Upper Bound Limitation. Leverages mathematical properties to reduce iterations. Less intuitive but more efficient than previous methods.**Method 5:**One-Liner. Elegant but not performance-optimized. Good for short arrays or one-off uses.