Unformatted text preview: other numbers except its multiples. One way to compute the greatest common divisor of two numbers is with Euclid’s algorithm . Euclid described the algorithm in his book, Elements, written around 300 B.C. He didn’t invent it. Historians believe the algorithm could be 200 years older. It is the oldest nontrivial algorithm that has survived to the present day, and it is still a good one. Knuth describes the algorithm and some modern modifications [863]. In C: /* returns gcd of x and y */ int gcd (int x, int y) { int g; if (x < 0) x = x; if (y < 0) y = y; if (x + y == 0) ERROR; g = y; while (x > 0) { g = x; x = y % x; y = g; } return g; } This algorithm can be generalized to return the gcd of an array of m numbers: /* returns the gcd of x1, x2...xm */ int multiple_gcd (int m, int *x) { size_t i; int g; if (m < 1) return 0; g = x[0]; for (i=1; i<m; ++i) { g = gcd(g, x[i]); /* optimization, since for random x[i], g==1 60% of the time: */ if (g == 1) return 1; } return g; } Inverses Modulo a Number
Remember inverses? The multiplicative inverse of 4 is 1/4, because 4*1/4 = 1. In the modulo world, the problem is more complicated: 4*x a 1 (mod 7) This equation is equivalent to finding an x and k such that 4x = 7k + 1 where both x and k are integers. The general problem is finding an x such that 1 = (a*x) mod n This is also written as a 1 a x (mod n) The modular inverse problem is a lot more difficult to solve. Sometimes it has a solution, sometimes not. For example, the inverse of 5, modulo 14, is 3. On the other hand, 2 has no inverse modulo 14. In general, a1 a x (mod n) has a unique solution if a and n are relatively prime. If a and n are not relatively prime, then a1 a x (mod n) has no solution. If n is a prime number, then every number from 1 to n 1 is relatively prime to n and has exactly one inverse modulo n in that range. Previous Table of Contents Next Products  Contact Us  About Us  Privacy  Ad Info  Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 19962000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of EarthWeb is prohibited. Read EarthWeb's privacy statement....
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