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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Jul 8;89(2):028701. Epub 2002 Jun 24.

Optimal combinations of imperfect objects.

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Theoretical Physics, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3NP, United Kingdom.


We consider how to make best use of imperfect objects, such as defective analog and digital components. We show that perfect, or near-perfect, devices can be constructed by taking combinations of such defects. Any remaining objects can be recycled efficiently. In addition to its practical applications, our "defect combination problem" provides a novel generalization of classical optimization problems.

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