DMTCS Proceedings, 23rd Intern. Meeting on Probabilistic, Combinatorial, and Asymptotic Methods for the Analysis of Algorithms (AofA'12)

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Approximate Counting via the Poisson-Laplace-Mellin Method

Michael Fuchs, Chung-Kuei Lee, Helmut Prodinger


Approximate counting is an algorithm that provides a count of a huge number of objects within an error tolerance. The first detailed analysis of this algorithm was given by Flajolet. In this paper, we propose a new analysis via the Poisson-Laplace-Mellin approach, a method devised for analyzing shape parameters of digital search trees in a recent paper of Hwang et al. Our approach yields a different and more compact expression for the periodic function from the asymptotic expansion of the variance. We show directly that our expression coincides with the one obtained by Flajolet. Moreover, we apply our method to variations of approximate counting, too.

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