I like your thinking very much , but itsSpoiler for
In the original setting of the problem:
"In a future not so far way, Earth archaeologists find on a far away planet a fragment from a long lost civilization. This fragment involves an unknown operation *|*. Unlocking its secrets may lead to a breakthrough in understanding their civilization. "
Please allow me to state (and add to the OP) 2 informal assumptions I made when posting the original setting of the problem:
1) We're talking about aliens so they *might* possess different insights than humans.
2) It's a fairly used operation on their world, so one *might* expect the symmetry /simplicity / "beauty" of a human operation (e.g. addition/ multiplication, etc.)
Disclaimer: I am not implying the fact that an alien operation is bound to be hard to grasp by humans, just that in worst-case scenarios it might be difficult to translate in human-operations. This may or may not be the case here. Just sayin'.
P.S. I'm not sure how sane I am at this hour so if I don't make much sense, feel free to skip these assumptions. Other than the slightest hint possible, there's no real value / necessity in these assumptions.
I was just being facetious. I know I didn't have the correct function, but wanted to point out the fact that
The challenge is to find one that has 'symmetry /simplicity / "beauty"'. I'm not really good at this type of problem, so I'll wait for the correct answer from the brain denizens. Nice puzzle. It's rare for a puzzle on brainden to be unsolved this long.
Edited by bushindo, 19 November 2010 - 01:39 AM.