mercredi 10 février 2016

Playing with limited-length Huffman trees

A small portion of a Huffman tree
Proper counting is crucial

On the second image you can recognize "DIZAINES" and "UNITÉS". The letters are hardly visible after some 90 years of use... It's a pool table in the mythic Schlauch Restaurant in Zurich.

Back to Huffman trees: just came across a beautiful algorithm [1] for building a Huffman tree with, as a constraint, a limited code length. With the original Huffman algorithm, parts of the tree may become arbitrarily long - well, obviously not longer that the alphabet to be encoded. This algorithm is optimal (given the constraint), fast and very economical in terms of used memory.

There is an equally beautiful implementation [2], translated for the purpose of the Zip-Ada project - a proper dynamic Deflate for compression is still missing, and a limited-length Huffman tree building algorithm is needed for that.
Translation is there: specification, body, test procedure, and abstract enough to build with an Ada 83 compiler (at least GNAT in -gnat83 mode)!
___
[1] Search: "A Fast and Space-Economical Algorithm for Length-Limited Coding"
[2] Search: "katajainen.c" (this part of the "Zopfli" project)

Avindex 1.0, snapshot #8, "Rock-solid balance sheet" edition

(Click to enlarge chart)

We learn today that Deutsche Bank's balance sheet is "rock-solid".
So, don't worry, folks!

One upon a time there was a reinsurance company called Converium. The CEO said exactly that: "Converium has a rock-solid balance sheet". It became a quickly running gag among the firm's employees...

mercredi 3 février 2016

Le long voyage du Métro de Bucarest

Un petit arrêt à Horgen, pour souffler un peu... (cliquer pour agrandir)


samedi 30 janvier 2016

Corporate Bullshit Generator - tons of new words...

It seems to be a fertile time for BS. It means, lots of work for me to collect new words or expressions...

The Corporate Bullshit Generator live is available here. There is also an offline version producing hundreds of pages per second.

Recent changes (including lots of new items!) can be browsed from that link.

Here, a few outputs with the new words:
There is no alternative to fairness.
We will execute to secure a jaw-dropping strategic thinking.
We will go the extra mile to move forward.
Acculturated connectivity is all about markets.
Actually, our control-based attitudes generate prospective requirements.
Pursuing this route will enable us to diligently deliver a ground-breaking and/or result-driven open-door policy.
Rewards aggregate inspirational, core and long-running alternatives, paving the way for adequate opportunities.
Fact-based performance culture is all about comprehensive options.
Our challenge is not to circle back. Our challenge is to influence concepts.
A key line of business deepens an integrativeness across the board.
The steering committee embraces our values-based, cognitive, go-to-market and compliant gamifications.
The game changers innovate a future-oriented, key, business platform.
It's not about a cross-industry best practice. It's about scaling.
The Managing Supervisor of Client Relationship integrates market-altering, unified and controlled aspirations as a consequence of a sizeable cost reduction.
The point is not merely to visualize stellar and/or boundaryless client needs. The point is to rebalance a service-oriented pyramid.
The brand manager manages decisions taking advantage of long-running, client-oriented, cultures, while the community co-creates our scalable line of business.
Context-aware roadmaps foster a transformation process, while our consumer-facing sales targets turbocharge our enhanced data captures.
An idiosyncratic line of business structures best-in-class, tri-face, informed and socially enabled milestones.
Decision, value creation and customer footprint accelerate medium-to-long-term levers, whilst the usage-based cornerstones genuinely enhance a diversifying objective.
We need to champion a client-centric plan.
Time-to-value and enterprise risk management reconceptualize our motivational correlations.
High-powered swim lanes transfer competitive, interconnected, structures.
Market-altering, trustworthy, versatile and comprehensive value propositions aggressively granularize markets.
The partners right-scale a broader thinking across geographies.
A low hanging fruit turbocharges an adequate and unified culture in the core.
The group re-aggregates hyper-hybrid frameworks.
The Acting Senior Director of Human Resources articulates a successful execution.
The portfolio shaping carefully iterates a proactive transformation process.
Our challenge is not to accelerate enhanced data captures. Our challenge is to reinvest in our white papers.
The product manager potentiates our efficient, enterprise-wide and core pyramid.
The pioneers front-face a high-powered customer experience as part of the plan.
The Chief Management Office Catalyst actions forward.
Present-day flow chartings adequately operationalize accurate white papers because the value-adding operating strategy produces an impressive increase in margins.

dimanche 17 janvier 2016

Could Double in 2016... err... sorry... Could Go to zero.

Some of you who followed the mysterious convulsions of financial markets over this nascent millennium, with instant access to "information" thanks to the Internet, will remember seeing on the same portion of screen completely contradictory commentaries or analyses, from the same source or media. Around 2000-2003 it was almost daily, and again in 2007-2008. Typically you had a title like "Stocks start with a strong rebound into market recovery on robust, rock-solid jobs statistics" and the breaking news headline, some pixels above, was "Stocks erase early gains, investors cautious". Now, with an almost perfect 7-year cycle, you see again such commentaries from the buy-buy spin doctors:


(screenshot from a finance site,
underlines and smileys added)

What analysts, commentators, etc. often forget, even if they are sincere, is that behind equities there are companies, and behind companies there are often lots of debt. If a company (typically, an average shale oil company losing money at any barrel price below $150) makes only losses year over year, you can have the nicest possible buzz, the most talented spin doctors, nothing will help. The company will go bankrupt, because no competitor will want to buy it even for one dollar, and this because a buyer would have to take over billions of debt as well. So better to wait for the bankruptcy, buy the assets at a discount price and let the debts live their own fate...

Shameless plug here for my Bullshit Generator.

vendredi 15 janvier 2016

Baltic Dry Index

BDI: Baltic Dry Index (click to enlarge)


The "Baltic Dry Index", an important global economic indicator, is at its lowest since its inception in 1985, so 31 years ago!... Initial index value was 1000, now we are at 383. You see it better on a logarithmic scale:

BDI: Baltic Dry Index, log scale  (click to enlarge)


Sources:
1) Michael Mærsk, J.K. Bruhn
Danske Bank - Copenhagen Business School
http://studenttheses.cbs.dk/bitstream/handle/10417/1207/Div_bilag.xlsm
2) Lloyd's List
https://www.quandl.com/data/LLOYDS/BDI-Baltic-Dry-Index



samedi 9 janvier 2016