0

Some things can only have certain sizes ("inflexible size"), for example Lego Duplo are a multiple of about 16 mm (I think). Other things are "flexible in size", as they don't have a restriction, or much less restrictions.

Maybe flexible isn't the right / best word either?

My use case is a bit technical, it's a computer science problem. The "inflexible size" applies to certain things (hash tables) that can only be of a size 2^n, for example 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64,..., 1024,... The "flexible size" ones can have any size that is a whole number, that is, 1, 2, 3, 4,... 1000,...

Maybe "flexible sized" would work, but I hope there is shorter word.

Sample usage: there is something called the "Cuckoo Filter" which is inflexible in size, that is, can only have size 2, 4, 8,... "The Cuckoo Filter is a probabilistic data structure that supports fast set membership testing." Now I need a use a different term for "Cuckoo Filter with flexible size". But "Flexible Cuckoo Filter" doesn't say it's about size, and "Flexible Sized Cuckoo Filter" is quite long.

  • You only mean variable size rather. – Kris Oct 11 '18 at 8:18
  • Unconstrained. It is variable if that value can change, for instance, during an iterative process. It is currently constrained to be 2^n. In your case, it is unconstrained. This is a slight bend of the rules, as it is still constrained to have n as a positive integer, but is implicit as a hash list can't have partial values, so the constraint doesn't come from the algorithm. – jimm101 Oct 11 '18 at 10:29
  • @jimm101 "Unconstrained size", yes that makes sense, it might be better than "flexible size". – Thomas Mueller Oct 11 '18 at 11:33
  • 1
    @Kris variable in my view also applies to 2^n sizes... – Thomas Mueller Oct 11 '18 at 11:35
0

So far as I know, there is no word or phrase for such a feature of sizing. So what I am suggesting has no basis in usage. It is just interesting.

What has happened in the recent past is either that a word has been coined (‘google’, ‘hash-tag’ ...) or an expression has been adopted, which often is then converted into some acronym.

In your case, the expression that springs to mind is something like ‘fixed sequence sizing’ [FSS] or ‘sizing according to fixed sequence’ [SAFS].

It may catch on, or it may not. Until it does, it has to be redefined each time it is used!

  • That's a great idea! Yes in my case that can be used, [FS] for "flexible size" "Cuckoo [FS]", "Blocked Bloom [FS]",... – Thomas Mueller Oct 11 '18 at 7:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.