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8.3. Classes of Algorithms

The most common check digit procedures come in a few broad classes. One class takes the individual digits, multiplies them by a constant value (called a weight) for each position, sums the results, divides the sum by another constant, and uses the remainder as the check digit. These are called weighted-sum algorithms.

Another approach is to use functions based on group theory, a branch of abstract algebra; these are called algebraic algorithms. A discussion of group theory is a little too complex to take up here, so I will do a little hand-waving when I get to the mathematics. Finally, you can use lookup tables for check digit functions that cannot be easily calculated.

The lookup tables can be almost anything, including ...

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