Approximate Counting Algorithm - Algorithm

Algorithm

When incrementing the counter, "flip a coin" the number of times of the counter's current value. If it comes up "Heads" each time, then increment the counter. Otherwise, do not increment it.

This can be done programmatically by generating "c" pseudo-random bits (where "c" is the current value of the counter), and using the logical AND function on all of those bits. The result is a zero if any of those pseudo-random bits are zero, and a one if they are all ones. Simply add the result to the counter. This procedure is be executed each time the request is made to increment the counter.

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