## techInterview Discussion |
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A part of techInterview.org: answers to technical interview questions.
Your host: Michael Pryor |
Well, it seems that merging companies is now in vogue, so here's my contribution.
How many distinct patterns are there of N companies merging, two at a time (resulting in a single company), where the order is not significant? More formally, a merger pattern is the set of all companies (original, intermediate and final) formed in the process. Since it is defined as a set, there is no order, even though the merging process is a sequence. For example, if A and B merge, then C and D merge, and then AB merges with CD, the corresponding pattern would be { A, B, C, D, AB, CD, ABCD }. The same pattern would emerge if C and D merged first, then A and B, and finally AB and CD. However, a different pattern, namely { A, B, C, D, AB, ABC, ABCD } emerges when A and B merge, then AB and C, and then ABC and D.
A.F. Thursday, June 03, 2010 |

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