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permutation

mathematics 1. An ordering of a certain number of elements

of a given set.

For instance, the permutations of (1,2,3) are (1,2,3) (2,3,1)

(3,1,2) (3,2,1) (1,3,2) (2,1,3).

Permutations form one of the canonical examples of a "group"

- they can be composed and you can find an inverse permutation

that reverses the action of any given permutation.

The number of permutations of r things taken from a set of n

is

n P r = n! / (n-r)!

where "n P r" is usually written with n and r as subscripts

and n! is the factorial of n.

What the football pools call a "permutation" is not a

permutation but a combination - the order does not matter.