Re: algorithms for dance

Richard Grevers (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 23:43:29

>An algorithm is a set of instructions with four special characteristics.
>1. It is complete; all the steps are there, in the right order.
Anyone care to figure whether the laws of commutivity or associativity
could apply to human motions?
>2. It is correct, it always gets the right answer.
Try asking artists to define or accept "right"? Must it always be the same
answer, or can we throw in a random number generator for fun? Of course
the outcome of an algorithm could be dependent on the starting conditions
or boundary conditions, which is another way of varying the answer.
>3. It is finite; there is a stated way to know when it's done.
hmm, I hadn't realised that an infinite series by definition is not an
algorithm. (And my dictionary confirms the finite bit). Computers calculate
many values by summing infinite series and stopping when they reach the
limit of their precision.
>4. It is executable; all of the instructions can actually be carried out.


Richard Grevers
OnStage New Zealand
P O Box 3263, Christchurch 8015
ph/fax (3) 379-3094, cell 025-221-5053