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I don't know the difference between theses two tags. Should we combine them or keep both of them? And which one should we keep in the case we decide to combine them?

is a math tag, is cs tag, so the natural choice would be , but my feeling is that people like more. So any opinions?

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  • $\begingroup$ I was wondering about this myself. no good answer though. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 1 '10 at 2:59
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based on the relative number of questions in each, maybe we should make a synonym of

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    $\begingroup$ I agree they should definitely be combined, so the only real question is which one we keep. I could go either way on this, so if somebody has a compelling reason to keep dm.discrete-mathematics, they should mention it here. $\endgroup$ – Peter Shor Dec 1 '10 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ I think the people working in the area prefer to call themselves combinatorialist/combinatorist than discrete mathematicians. (Although some might prefer to be called concrete mathematicians. :) $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Dec 1 '10 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ the wikipedia article for discrete math suggests that DM is much broader than CO, which would suggest retaining DM and nuking CO. However, since we have separate classifications for graph theory, number theory and the like, that would suggest keeping the most specialized category, which is CO $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 1 '10 at 21:55
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    $\begingroup$ If there's no further discussion, I propose making dm a synonym of co $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 2 '10 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh: thank you. It seems that there are still 7 questions tagged with dm.discrete-mathematics, should we retag them manually or can you still use your AMP to merge them into [co.combinatorics]? $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Dec 3 '10 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ I can merge them. Wasn't sure whether I should have $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 3 '10 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh: I don't know, I personally didn't see any point in keeping those question tagged with the old one. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Dec 3 '10 at 22:12
  • $\begingroup$ ok. they've been merged. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 3 '10 at 22:16
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Wait. How did this happen?

I subscribe to both math.CO and cs.DM on my feed reader. They are different.

Maybe from certain TCS perspectives, they could be seen as the same, but let's step back a little.

From my impression, articles with co tags often have more links to "pure" mathematics, like algebra, geometry, topology and include raw enumeration or extremal problems. In contrast, articles with dm tags are usually more related to "applied" areas, like optimisation, dynamical systems and statistics. For instance, Ramsey theory might fall under the former's, while many parts of graph theory would be under the latter's umbrella.

Surely, like any classification system, this is neither a covering nor a packing, but why the need for arbitrary tag minimisation? Are we overpopulated by arXiv tags?

And, if any merging was to be done, shouldn't it have been the tag that is more general (and, arguably, closer to TCS) to survive? (Actually, I'm not sure if I completely understand how this merging behaves now, but the question still stands...)

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    $\begingroup$ (1) Questions are off-topic on cstheory.stackexchange.com if they are really “pure mathematics.” Therefore, I do not see any real needs to distinguish math.CO and cs.DM in the context of cstheory.stackexchange.com. Also I did not see any distinction how these tags were used on cstheory.stackexchange.com. It seemed that the distinction was just arbitrary here. So I think that it was right to have merged these tags. (2) We cannot tell which questions had which tag before the merge (unless someone has a backup of the data). Therefore, I do not think that it is possible to undo the merge. $\endgroup$ – Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 10 '10 at 2:55
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but Tsuyoshi is right: we can't undo the merge. This was bobbing around on meta for a while. It's also true that the usage here did not display the subtle differences you are referring to. I'm willing to undo the synonym setting if people feel strongly about this. It won't help with the already merged tags, but removing the synonym would help with future differentiation. But I'd like to see more support. $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Dec 14 '10 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Tsuyoshi, @Suresh: I hope you realise that there is a difference between A) waiting for more than a day to see whether there is more input on what action to take, in particular, waiting for feedback from users in either of these areas (the difference between the areas is not subtle to me), and B) making a very quick change and then asking people to vote that they disagree with that change and want the change to be sloppily and only partially undone. $\endgroup$ – RJK Dec 14 '10 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I see the difference, and I had never claimed that one day was enough time to wait (I do not have an opinion for or against it). But I do not think that the summary in your comment is fair. Also, I do not see the point of undoing the changes. It might be a good thing to start distinguishing these two tags (again, I have no opinion for or against), but I do not think that people were distinguishing them before the merge. $\endgroup$ – Tsuyoshi Ito Dec 14 '10 at 18:47

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