Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mixed Radix Numeral System class and Counter

Mixed Radix Calculator

   My 'Mixed Radix Calculator' creates a counting system of radices (plural of radix), such as base 12 or mixed radices such as Minutes/Hours/Days/Years: 365:24:60:60. I choose the left side to be the most significant side. This is merely a personal preference, and my MixedRadixSystem class supports displaying both alignments.

   Of course you dont have to choose a mixed radix numeral system, you can count in an N-base numeral system, such as base 7 or a more familiar base 16. Another feature lies in my RadixNumeral class. Each numeral, or place value, supports having its own dictionary of symbols.

Screenshot of Mixed Radix Calculator
      (Project released under Creative Commons)

-  52:7:24:60:60:1000  -

  A numeral system (or system of numeration) is a writing system for expressing numbers.

  The most familiar one is of course the decimal numeral system. This is a 10-base numbering system. Computers use a binary numeral system. The base is sometimes called the radix or scale.

  Not all numbering systems have just one base. Take for example, how we currently divide time: There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year. This is called a mixed radix numeral system, and one might express the above mixed radix system like: 365:24:60:60.


  I haven't found a lot of use cases for it yet, but it is interesting. I originally built this because I wanted to experiment with numeral systems that uses increasing consecutive prime numbers for each radix, as well as experiment with some off-bases, such as base 3 or base 7.

  In a single base, say base 7, then 'round numbers' with only one place value having a 1 and the rest having zeros, such as 1:0:0:0:0 (in base 7), such numbers are powers of 7, and ever other number except for the 1's place value is a multiple of 7.

  A mixed radix numeral system can represent a polynomial, and possibly provide for a simpler way to visualize and reason about them.

  Yet another possible use is to make a numeral system with a base that is larger than and co-prime to some other target number (say 256) to make a bijective map from every value in a byte to some other value exactly once by repeatedly adding the value of the co-prime, modulus 256. This can appear rather random (or sometimes not at all) but the mapping is easily determined given the co-prime. I have talked about this notion before on my blog

  If you like this project you would probably like my project EquationFinder, it finds equations given constraints

No comments: