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Project Euler: Problem 5

At last! A Project Euler problem I didn’t brute-force. This problem was a fairly straight-forward Least-Common Multiple (LCM) problem. I just reused my factorize function from before and implemented the algorithm to find LCM by prime factorization.

"""Solves Problem 5 of Project Euler."""

def factorize(to_factor):
    """Use trial division to factorize to_factor and return all the resulting \
    factors = []
    divisor = 2
    while (divisor < to_factor):
        if not to_factor % divisor:
            to_factor /= divisor
            # Note we don't bump the divisor here; if we did, we'd have
            # non-prime factors.
        elif divisor == 2:
            divisor += 1
            # Trivial optimization: skip even numbers that aren't 2.
            divisor += 2
    if not to_factor % divisor:
        # Don't forget the last factor
    return factors

def lcm(numbers):
    """Finds the Least Common Multiple of numbers."""
    highest_degree_factors = {}
    for number in numbers:
        degrees_by_factor = {}
        for factor in factorize(number):
            # Translate the raw list of factors into a dictionary of degrees
            # keyed on the factor.
            current_degree = degrees_by_factor.setdefault(factor, 0)
            degrees_by_factor[factor] = 1 + current_degree

        # Update the top-level dict so it really is tracking the highest
        # degrees.
        for k, v in degrees_by_factor.iteritems():
            highest_degree_factors.setdefault(k, v)
            if highest_degree_factors[k] < v:
               highest_degree_factors[k] = v

    running_product = 1
    for factor, degree in highest_degree_factors.iteritems():
        running_product *= factor ** degree

    return running_product

if __name__ == '__main__':
    print lcm(range(1,20))

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