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This question asks a question that is about an algorithm which is not a traditional part of computational science - maybe rather of theoretical computer science. If we decide these questions belong on cstheory.stackexchange.com, and such questions come up more often, then it might be good if we'd get a "move to cstheory.stackexchange.com" option in the flagging system.

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Dynamic programming has come up in a linear programming class I took, and should also come up in algorithms-based computer science classes. You could, and people do, solve problems like knapsack problems using dynamic programming. Since optimization is part of scientific programming, I think it is allowable to discuss when one might use a dynamic programming approach to solve a problem.

"Implementation" is tricky, though. I think pseudocode or an algorithm sketch would be acceptable. The same poster asked for an algorithm that could be related to scientific computing in the question "How to fill a 2D set over a Cartesian lattice with as few rectangles as possible?", and no one mentioned anything about it being off-topic. The answer the poster was looking for was on Math Overflow, and a CS Theory page was linked to it also.

The question also relates to graph theory, and graph theory, particularly as it relates to answering questions about networks, is increasingly becoming a scientific computing discipline.

I am inclined to let it go, but I am really interested in hearing other people in the community weigh in so that a consensus decision can be reached.

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There are two issues.

The first one is that as has been discussed on area51 before, this site was not going to overlap significantly with existing sites like cstheory. So if you are going to include what a main part of the scope of cstheory we would object to that.

The second issue is: is this really a question for cstheory or not. Being "purely algorithmic" question doesn't make it necessarily on-topic for cstheory which is for research-level *theoretical* computer science questions. But it might make it part of the new CS proposal, and I think they would object to the scope of computational sciences being extended to cover what was not part of the proposal and is part of their proposal.

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    $\begingroup$ Quoting the cstheory FAQ: "TCS covers a wide variety of topics including algorithms, data structures, computational complexity, parallel and distributed computation, ..., computational biology, computational economics, computational geometry, ...". Already, there are some major areas of overlap; algorithms are touched upon in this post, and parallel and distributed computation is also covered quite a bit. The rest of the areas quoted from the cstheory FAQ are covered to lesser degrees. I think we'll need to hash out the overlap amongst our sites. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Feb 13 '12 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ From my perspective, this proposal/site had a separate potential community than cstheory (as I understood it from what mbq was saying). cstheory is mainly for researchers/academics "studying computation" and related issues and only the theoretical part, i.e. theoretical computer scientists, this proposal was intended to be more application oriented and for scientists using computation who are not mainly interested in studying computation itself: "scientists using (heavy) computation". The example question in the proposal seemed be consistent with this perception. They were not $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ questions that we would consider clearly on-topic for cstheory. I can't draw a black and white line between theoretical questions and applications oriented question, there is an overlap, but I personally don't want to see the scope of this proposal being extended to contain theoretical computer science questions about algorithms/distributed computing/... . $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ Let's move this to TL, then. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Feb 13 '12 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ Since we're not going to discuss this in chat, I'll just repeat the question I asked in chat: So what's your issue with the algorithms question, exactly? It seems like your objection is that you don't want scicomp discussing pure algorithms questions divorced from any application. That's fine with me; I don't think scicomp wants any algorithm question that doesn't have an application associated with it. If there are any exceptions, I doubt there are many of them. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Feb 13 '12 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ I think, in general, we've tried to be conscious of cstheory and their potential scope. cstheory has come up frequently in discussions of questions that we felt were too theoretical, and not as application-oriented as we'd like them to be. I became involved with the site well after the Area 51 proposal; I've looked at the material there, and I think the site has evolved somewhat since the original proposal. For instance, there's a question on PBS commands that was closed in the proposal, but is definitely on topic here. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Feb 13 '12 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ The first thing is that I have followed the site enough after the proposal phase. It is normal for proposal's scope to be modified a little bit, but I think the changes should not too significant, especially in areas which have been discussed in the proposal stage. I would have expected mbq to be more involved in the site that he is at the moment. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ To be honest, it is also not very clear for myself what is my objection. My concern is that there shouldn't be a significant overlap. I am not saying this is the case at the moment, but I was a little bit surprised when I was reading the scope meta question. In the proposal phase it was easy for us to say that there is not going to be a significant overlap as I said. Now, based on the changes and the scope meta question I think we need to look at it more carefuly. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, how do you think this site's proposal is being modified? (I presume by the proposal, you mean mbq's post.) $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Feb 13 '12 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Let me think a little bit and discuss it with other users on cstheory meta before continuing the discussion. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ It is more than just that post. This proposal was there for a long time and there has been discussion about it on several places. But in short, the perception was that this is not going to significantly overlap with cstheory, and now I am not sure if that is still true. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 13 '12 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Geoff, I have posted a request for comment post on cstheory meta. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 14 '12 at 0:42
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    $\begingroup$ I'm happy to discuss any potential overlaps with you. In order to be able to do something constructive for both our communities, if you perceive there is a problem, you need to give me some sort of concrete evidence to back it up so that we can move forward productively. We here at scicomp would like to work with you, since we as computational scientists work with (and rely on the work of) theoretical computer scientists on a daily basis. I don't think there's any intent or desire to infringe on your scope or step on your toes. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Oxberry Feb 14 '12 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Kaveh You're right that this site has migrated quite far from the area51 prototype -- in fact this is one of the reasons why I'm not too active here. However, I believe that SE sites should exist around communities rather than topics, and it is still a site for people interested in using computations rather than researching them -- thus for me it is still SciComp from Area and I don't see any conflict. Yet it is obviously for both sites' users to settle. $\endgroup$ – mbq Feb 16 '12 at 21:41
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    $\begingroup$ @mbq, thanks for the clarification. So far based on the feedback from cstheory community it seems that there isn't much overlap between two sites so there shouldn't be a problem at all. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Feb 16 '12 at 23:31
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I don't see why not... algorithms are an essential component of scientific computing... from theory to implementation... Although, if a question is left unanswered for too long, it might be a good idea to migrate it to the theoretical computer science stackexchange site.

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thanks for raising this!

I would not be averse to keeping this question around because optimization is a related field, but I'm not sure we have anybody interested in answering it, so I guess this would be a neutral vote.

I'm interested in hearing what the rest of the community has to say though.

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