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Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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© 2006-2015 Andrew Cooke (site) / post authors (content).

Cute Piece of Clojure Code

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2012 22:35:58 -0300

This is related to the SO question http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10161971
which is playing around with those puzzles where you need to make some number
form a series of digits and various mathematical operators.

The problem being that the problem assumes infix maths, which is a pain if
you're working with a prefix language like lisp.

So what this code does is take two lists - one of operators, and one of
digits, and generates an ast that evaluates correctly, given the precedence of
the operators.

(def default-priorities
  {'+ 1, '- 1, '* 2, '/ 2, '& 3})

(defn- extend-tree [tree priorities operator value]
  (if (seq? tree)
    (let [[op left right] tree
          [old new] (map priorities [op operator])]
      (if (> new old)
        (list op left (extend-tree right priorities operator value))
        (list operator tree value)))
    (list operator tree value)))

(defn priority-tree
  ([operators values] (priority-tree operators values default-priorities))
  ([operators values priorities] (priority-tree operators values priorities
  ([operators values priorities tree]
    (if-let [operators (seq operators)]
      (if tree
          (rest operators) (rest values) priorities
          (extend-tree tree priorities (first operators) (first values)))
        (let [[v1 v2 & values] values]
          (recur (rest operators) values priorities 
            (list (first operators) v1 v2))))

; [] [+ & *] [1 2 3 4] 1+23*4
; [+ 1 2] [& *] [3 4] - initial tree
; [+ 1 [& 2 3]] [*] [4] - binds more strongly than + so replace right-most
; node
; [+ 1 [* [& 2 3] 4]] [] [] - descend until do not bind more tightly, and
; extend

(println (priority-tree ['+ '& '*] [1 2 3 4])) ; 1+23*4
(println (priority-tree ['& '- '* '+ '&] [1 2 3 4 5 6])) ; 12 - 3*4 + 56

The output from the last two lines is:

(+ 1 (* (& 2 3) 4))
(+ (- (& 1 2) (* 3 4)) (& 5 6))

(I should have explained earlier that "&" is the pseudo-operator to combine
two digits into a number, so (& 1 2) is 12).

I know it's not ground-breaking or super-exciting, but it was fun to write...


Re: Cute Piece of Clojure Code

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 07:07:24 -0300

Thanks - fixed now.


Cute Piece of Clojure Code

From: Tuom Larsen <tuom.larsen@...>

Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 11:07:36 +0200


are you sure about the link in your article? As it point to:

Kind regard,


Wrong SO question?

From: Ashok Bakthavathsalam <ashok@...>

Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 04:30:38 +0000


Thank you very much for your answer for the SO question, and also for your =
blog article explaining the mathematical puzzle (http://www.acooke.org/cute=
/CutePieceo0.html). By the way, I think you may have the wrong link to the =
SO question in your write-up. Please check.

-code-and-error-when-trying-to-byte-compile versus http://stackoverflow.com=

I have been pleasantly surprised to get contributions from you (Chile) and =
Lopez (Colombia). What are all you software guns upto in S America? Would b=
e great to have you come and teach students/professionals in India about Cl=
ojure and Scheme, and programming in general.


  % ashok

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