SLA_COMBN

Next Combination

ACTION:
Generate the next combination, a subset of a specified size chosen from a specified number of items.
CALL:
CALL sla_COMBN (NSEL, NCAND, LIST, J)
GIVEN:

NSEL

I

number of items (subset size)

NCAND

I

number of candidates (set size)


GIVEN and RETURNED:

LIST

I(NSEL)

latest combination, LIST(1)=0 to initialize


RETURNED:

J

I

status:

  1 = illegal NSEL or NCAND

   0 = OK

  +1 = no more combinations available


NOTES:
(1)
NSEL and NCAND must both be at least 1, and NSEL must be less than or equal to NCAND.
(2)
This routine returns, in the LIST array, a subset of NSEL integers chosen from the range 1 to NCAND inclusive, in ascending order. Before calling the routine for the first time, the caller must set the first element of the LIST array to zero (any value less than 1 will do) to cause initialization.
(3)
The first combination to be generated is:

LIST(1)=1, LIST(2)=2, …, LIST(NSEL)=NSEL

This is also the combination returned for the “finished” (J=1) case. The final permutation to be generated is:

LIST(1)=NCAND, LIST(2)=NCAND1, …,
                               LIST(NSEL)=NCANDNSEL+1

(4)
If the “finished” (J=1) status is ignored, the routine continues to deliver combinations, the pattern repeating every NCAND!/(NSEL!(NCANDNSEL)!) calls.
(5)
The algorithm is by R. F. Warren-Smith (private communication).