[xsl] Using divide-and-conquer recursion to create a cumulative sequence

Subject: [xsl] Using divide-and-conquer recursion to create a cumulative sequence
From: "Costello, Roger L." <costello@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 16:39:00 -0500
Hi Folks,

I wish to convert a sequence of N numbers:

   (23, 41, 70, 103, 99, 6)

Into a cumulative sequence, in which each number is the sum of the previous

   (23, 64, 134, 237, 336, 342)

One approach to solving this is to iterate through the N numbers and sum the
preceding numbers:

   for i=1 to N
       sum(for j=1 to i return numbers[j])

However, that approach has a time complexity of:

   1 + 2 + 3 + ... + N = N**2/2

For large N, that will be very expensive.

An alternative approach is to create a recursive function that does a single
pass through the sequence, carrying along (and adding) the accumulated total
on each recursive call. This has a time complexity of N. Nice.

The above (paraphrases) from Michael Kay's book, XSLT 2.0 and XPath 2.0, p.
The below is from me.

However, that sequential recursive approach will entail N recursive calls,
which will result in running out of memory for large N (let's assume that the
XSLT processor does not do tail recursive optimization).

I would like a way of solving the problem using divide-and-conquer recursion.
Can you provide a solution?


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