Algorithm for connecting resistances

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Algorithm for connecting resistances

Postby islamfaisal » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:50 am

Hello our dear experts,

I've been thinking of a problem, which is given as input N number of electric resistances values and a desired value M, output a way that you can connect(parallel/series) all of the resistances to get the desired value. Is this a good idea to research into. Would this algorithm benefit us in such things other than the problem of how to find the way of connecting the electric resistances?

Kind regards,
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Re: Algorithm for connecting resistances

Postby akbarkhan » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:02 am

In order to develop an algorithm to count the number of resistances to be found in a circuit, requires a deep understanding of physics (When are series, parallel, a comination of both resistors to be used? How would you know how to translate resistance configuration to deliver desired functionality?), network theory (basics of circuit design), and software programming (once the algorithm is developed, this may not be too bad). This may be too much for an average high school science project given the broad range of expertise required.

Options going forward:
1. Consult with your physics teacher to help develop framework for developing required algorithm.
2. Review ideas for another project from this website.

Good luck.
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Re: Algorithm for connecting resistances

Postby islamfaisal » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:04 am

Thanks for reply! I'd like to know how this algorithm can be of help in real life. For example, why would it be fair to use a bunch of resistances while we can use only one? Are there other problems that can be modeled to this problem and hence be solved by this algorithm. Or I can go anyway and develop the algorithm even if it would be useless in real-life.

Regards,
islamfaisal
 
Posts: 12
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Project Question: Physics or Computer Science
Project Due Date: 31 Jan 2013
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Re: Algorithm for connecting resistances

Postby hhemken » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:16 pm

Islamfaisal,

Have you researched the topic much yet? For example, by googling your keywords:

Code: Select all
algorithm resistance parallel series


Good luck!

Heinz Hemken
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Re: Algorithm for connecting resistances

Postby BillBushnell » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:35 pm

Islamfaisal,

Interesting proposed topic. I am sure that you could develop an algorithm to select the resistors to approximate the desired overall resistance. This can be done by ordering the N restitors by size and selcting the first resistor that comes closest to M (the desired resistance) and then interating across the remaining resistors. The algorithm would search for the best resistor to add in series or parrallel to get closer to M. Then the algorithm would search for the third resistor, etc. One of the challenges is to know how many resistors to place into the circuit so that you get as close to the desired value M as possible. I suggest that you also look for a way to access the efficiency of your algorithm. For example, is it providing the optimal solution?

You asked if this algorthim would have practical applications. I doubt if the specific resistor selection problem you described has practical applications. I expect that integrated circuit designers just design the resistor element on the chip to have the dimensions needed to provide the desired resistance.

However, there are many practical problems in which there is no precise formula that provides the correct answer. Search algorithms are created to interate on the possible combinations until an answer of suitable accuracy is found. For example see that attached link for the classic "Bin Packing" problem.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bin_packing_problem

Best of luck,

Bill B.
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