[r-t] Exhausted search spaces

edward martin edward.w.martin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 17:58:06 UTC 2010

On 3 February 2010 16:10, Graham John <graham at changeringing.co.uk> wrote:
> Mew wrote:
>> how can I say have a go without knowing
>> what Don's computer has found or more
>> specifically was set to search for?
> You don't know what other composers have looked for in the past using pen
> and paper either, so it is not really different now.
With respect I do not agree in that in pre-computer days, a composer
would number only his chosen compositions & would not have included
any ideas which he had rejected. The chosen few would have been
published & another composer would not have felt intimidated by
astronomical numbers of compositions which had not been revealed to
the public.

A case in point is with comps of Grandsire Triples; most composers
would not bother, feeling that the field was pretty well played out,
yet, over the past three years, the late Stephen Ivin & I had been
engaged in e-mail correspondence, averaging about one every six weeks,
in which we pondered over various problems of composition of Grandsire
Triples.  I had been trying to analyse Holt's one-part to see if I
could determine what had been in his mind. Steve and I went back &
forth over this, my thoughts included that 200 calls (198 bobs &
2common singles) was probably the limit. He wasn't so sure but when
his computer search discovered several 200 call comps, he was very
excited but sad that 205 had not popped up. .Incidentally, I  had no
idea that he was so poorly, in his emails he was always chipper and
full of ideas to try out. His last email started typically with "
Here's another little puzzle" and later gave me the first glimpse of
his medical problems when he included " I'm not very sharp at the
moment, being in the throes of another round of chemo, which looks
promising but is giving  me a bit of a bashing" That was a couple of
weeks before Christmas.

> There are some search spaces which are small enough to be exhausted by
> computer, such as strictly tenors together compositions, but beyond this
> even a computer search will only have scratched the surface, so I don't
> think that you need worry yourself unduly.

Again, with respect, I think you are missing the point.

> Having said that, setting up a page on the wiki for people to record what
> their searches in popular methods have exhausted (specifying the
> constraints) is not a bad idea. If people on this list are prepared to
> contribute, I'll create a page to start it off.
> Graham
That is a good idea but I suspect rather demanding of those who have
actually executed exhaustive searches


More information about the ringing-theory mailing list