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Do YOU Want to Check a Wikipedia-Sized Proof?

Alexei Lisitsa (University of Liverpool) and Boris Konev may have taken a significant step toward solving the Erdős discrepancy problem, but to check their proof you'd have to wade through more information than is contained in all of Wikipedia.

Paul Erdős suspected but was unable to prove that for any positive integer $$C$$ in any infinite $$+1$$ $$-1$$ sequence $$(x_{n})$$ there exists a subsequence $$x_{d}, x_{2d},\dots,x_{kd}$$ for some positive integers $$k$$ and $$d$$ such that $$|x_{d}+x_{2d}+\cdots+x_{kd}|>C$$. A proof already existed for $$C=1$$; what Lisitsa and Konev have done is prove it for $$C=2$$. It took a computer 6 hours to establish this, and the work generated a 13-gigabyte log file.

The proof is raising questions about whether a result can stand without thorough human vetting.

Read New Scientist's coverage or the research paper.

Start Date: 
Thursday, March 6, 2014