Appendix C

Solutions of Recurrence Relations

C.1  Introduction

A recurrence relation for a sequence is an equation that defines the present term by previous terms.

Example: an = an – 1 + an – 2

The initial conditions specify the terms before the recurrence relation takes effect.

Example: a1 = 2; a2 = 3

Many counting problems can be modelled by recurrence relations.

Example 1

How many bit strings of length n have no “00”? All strings begin with a 1 or a 0. There are total 2n strings of length n. Out of these, we accept the following strings:

  1. Starts with a 1; remaining n – 1; bits can be any string with no 00.
  2. Starts with a 0 and 2nd bit is a 1; remaining n – 2 bits can be any string with no 00.
  3. 2 strings of length 1 and 3 strings of length ...

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