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Combination Rank

Tool for calculating the rank of a mathematical combination (or conversely, calculating a combination from a rank), that is, the position of a combination in the growing list of possible combinations generated.

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Combination Rank -

Tag(s) : Combinatorics

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# Combination Rank

## Combination from Rank Calculator

Tool for calculating the rank of a mathematical combination (or conversely, calculating a combination from a rank), that is, the position of a combination in the growing list of possible combinations generated.

### How to calculate the rank of a combination?

The rank of a combination is the position of a combination in the list of all possible combinations sorted by ascending order.

Example: All combinations of 4 choose 2 are: (1,2),(1,3),(1,4),(2,3),(2,4),(3,4), therefore the rank of the combination (1,2) is 1, the rank of the combination (2,4) is 5

With $c_i$ the elements in increasing order $c_1, c_2, \cdots, c_k$ of a combination of $k$ elements among $n$ the total number of elements, the formula for calculate rank without listing all combinations is $$\binom{n}{k} - \binom{n-c_1}{k} + \binom{n-c_2}{k-1} + \cdots + \binom{n-c_k}{1}$$

Example: The combination rank (1,3) among the combinations $\binom{4}{2}$ is computed $\binom{4}{2} - \binom {3}{2} - \binom{1}{1} = 6 - 3 - 1 = 2$ so (1,3) is at rank 2.

### How to calculate a combination from its rank?

! This method calculates the minimal combination minimizing $n$ (ie, with the smallest numbers) for a given size $k$.

To compute a combination from a rank $r$, knowing the number of element $k$ of the combination, repeat the following algorithm:

1 - Calculate the largest number $i$, such that the number of combinations $\binom{k}{i}$ is less than or equal to the rank $r$.

2 - Add $i$ at the beginning of the combination, subtract the value $\binom{k}{i}$ from $r$ and decrement $k$ by $1$

3 - Repeat steps 1 and 2 as long as $k > 0$

Example: For a rank $r = 5$ and a combination of $k = 2$ elements
Step 1 - calculate $\binom{2}{2} = 1 < r$, $\binom{3}{2} = 3 < r$ then $\binom {4}{2} = 6 > r$
Step 2 - Combination = (4), $r = 5-3 = 2$, $k = 1$
Step 1' - calculate $\binom{1}{2} = 2 <= r$
Step 2' - Combination = (2,4) , $r = 1$, $k = 0$ - End
So the minimal combination of size 2 and rank 5 is (2,4)

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