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knapsack problem

noun, Mathematics
1.
the problem of determining which numbers from a given collection of numbers have been added together to yield a specific sum: used in cryptography to encipher (and sometimes decipher) messages.
Origin
so called because the problem is similar to determining what packages are in a closed knapsack when the weights of the individual packages and the filled knapsack are known
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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