337 Answered Questions for the topic Theory


Learning garbage collection theory?

I want to learn the theory behind garbage collection. How do i go about it? The obvious answer is - a compiler textbook... The question is, is it necessary to learn lexical analysis, parsing and... more


Could a truly random number be generated using pings to pseudo-randomly selected IP addresses?

The question posed came about during my comp sci lecture while discussing the impossibility of generating numbers in a deterministic computational device.This was the only suggestion which didn't... more


Most difficult programming explanation?

Recently I tried to explain some poorly designed code to my project manager. All of the manager classes are singletons ("and that's why I can't easily change this") and the code uses event... more


Help Understanding Big O

I'm asking more about what this means to my code. I understand the concepts mathematically, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around what they mean conceptually. For example, if one were... more


Where do I start learning about image processing and object recognition?

I'm interested in writing some basic computerized object recognition application, so I figure I need some theoretical background in image processing algorithms, along with some AI for decision... more


Text editor theory?

As I'm always dissatisfied with existing editors, a project I always wanted to start is my own text editor. However doing text editing is serious business.Besides analyzing the source code of... more


What is Turing Complete?

What does the expression "Turing Complete" mean? Can you give a simple explanation, without going into too many theoretical details?


const correctness in C#?

The point of const-correctness is to be able to provide a view of an instance that can't be altered or deleted by the user. The compiler supports this by pointing out when you break constness from... more


Database Internals - Where to Begin?

So lets say that you want to learn some stuff about database internals. What's the best source code to look at? the best books to buy?I was talking about this with a buddy the other day and he... more


Purpose of singletons in programming?

This is admittedly a rather loose question. My current understanding of singletons is that they are a class that you set up in such a way that only one instance is ever created.This sounds a lot... more


What is starvation?

In multitasking systems, some abnormal conditions prevent progress of executing processes or threads. I'll refer to both processes and threads simply as "processes". Two of these conditions are... more


Which is the fastest way to get the absolute value of a number?

How fast is an `if` (and why please). My college programing professors always told me to avoid `if`s for they are extremely slow, but I always forgot to ask how slow and why.


Why is cloning (in .NET) so difficult?

In the past I had the need to clone objects, only to find that they don't implement a <code>Clone()</code> method, forcing me to do it by hand (create a new instance and copy all... more


How do I check if a directed graph is acyclic?


Storing Images in DB - Yea or Nay?

So I'm using an app that stores images heavily in the DB. What's your outlook on this? I'm more of a type to store the location in the filesystem, than store it directly in the DB.What do you think... more


Partially Overriding a Virtual Auto-Property in a Child Class?

Time for a theoretical question I just ran across.The following code is valid and compiles: public class Parent { public virtual object TestProperty { get; set; } } public class... more


What is the origin of "launch the missiles"?

In the context of functional programming, a typical example of a side effect is "launch the missiles". Where does that expression come from historically?


How to program a fractal?

I do not have any experience with programming fractals. Of course I've seen the famous Mandelbrot images and such.Can you provide me with simple algorithms for fractals? Programming language... more


Are there any O(1/n) algorithms?

Are there any O(1/n) algorithms?Or anything else which is less than O(1)?


What does it mean to compose two Functors?

Exercise 5 of the Haskell Typeclassopedia Section 3.2 asks for a proof or counterexample on the statement: *The composition of two Functors is also a Functor.* I thought at first that this was... more


What is fuzzy logic?

I'm working with a couple of AI algorithms at school and I find people use the words Fuzzy Logic to explain any situation that they can solve with a couple of cases. When I go back to the books I... more


When is theoretical computer science useful?

In class, we learned about the halting problem, Turing machines, reductions, etc. A lot of classmates are saying these are all abstract and useless concepts, and there's no real point in knowing... more


Is finding the equivalence of two functions undecidable?

Is it impossible to know if two functions are equivalent? For example, a compiler writer wants to determine if two functions that the developer has written perform the same operation, what methods... more


Split down a number in seconds to days, hours, minutes, and seconds?

I've heard that it's possible to accomplish this using the modulus `%` operator present in most programming languages. The real question is, how? I'm unfamiliar with how modulus works, so I've had... more


What's a Turing machine?

What is a Turing machine and why do people keep mentioning it? My IBM PC is all I need to do my computation! Why does anyone care about these machines?
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