Special subset sums: meta-testing
Problem 106Published on Friday, 7th October 2005, 06:00 pm; Solved by 3172
Let S(A) represent the sum of elements in set A of size n. We shall call it a special sum set if for any two non-empty disjoint subsets, B and C, the following properties are true:
- S(B) S(C); that is, sums of subsets cannot be equal.
- If B contains more elements than C then S(B) S(C).
For this problem we shall assume that a given set contains n strictly increasing elements and it already satisfies the second rule.
Surprisingly, out of the 25 possible subset pairs that can be obtained from a set for which n = 4, only 1 of these pairs need to be tested for equality (first rule). Similarly, when n = 7, only 70 out of the 966 subset pairs need to be tested.
For n = 12, how many of the 261625 subset pairs that can be obtained need to be tested for equality?