On computing majority by comparisons

Michael E. Saks*, Michael Werman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The elements of a finite set X (of odd cardinality n) are divided into two (as yet unknown) classes and a member of the larger class is to be identified. The basic operation is to test whether two objects are in the same class. We show that n-B(n) comparisons are necessary and sufficient in worst case, where B(n) is the number of 1's in the binary expansion of n.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • AMS subject classification (1991): 68P10, 68R05


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