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Take a look at these two questions:

Both of them are about the same topic (mathematical induction on inequalities). They both ask for a solution to a certain induction problem. The only difference between both of them is the content of the induction problem itself.

Now look at the question titles: "Proof of inequalities by induction" and "Mathematical induction in inequalities". They're essentially the same thing.

It may sound silly, but given that two questions can't have the same title (see bottom of this post), every time someone needs to solve an induction problem, they will be forced to try to think up a title name that is none of those two listed above. Eventually, the more people make such questions, the more strangely similar (but differently written) titles will appear.

Let us assume that we have a hundred of such questions. It sounds a bit unorganized. A hundred questions with titles that differ slightly - perhaps, even by just one single word.

Is there not a way to make a better title differentiation?

I am asking this because I'm pretty sure I will have to ask yet another of those questions since I'm having trouble understanding a certain induction problem.

EDIT Yep, can't have multiple questions with the same title:


enter image description here


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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not aware of any rule forbidding multiple questions with the same title. I suspect that with a little work you could find a counterexample. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Nov 26 '12 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson: There, I've edited the question. Been confirmed (screenshot). $\endgroup$ – Zol Tun Kul Nov 26 '12 at 6:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Gerry: There apparently is a rule. I'm somewhat surprised that no one has banged his head against it until now. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Nov 26 '12 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ I was sure I had seen a dozen questions simply titled "Induction question". I guess not. Sorry. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Nov 26 '12 at 10:08
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    $\begingroup$ For what it is worth, those are horrible question titles. A much more informative title for the second one would be: "How to prove $n < n!$ for $n > 2$ by induction?" The whole point of adding the title-collision check into the quality control for asking questions is to encourage users to write more descriptive titles... $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Nov 26 '12 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ @WillieWong: FWIW, I did bang my head against it the other day -- someone had asked a question with the title "QUAD. RECIPROCITY", and I couldn't edit it into "Quadratic reciprocity" because that was already taken. (I also couldn't really understand what was being asked, which would have enabled me to choose a more informative title instead). $\endgroup$ – Henning Makholm Nov 26 '12 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ @WillieWong: That sounds like a better idea. Could be the answer to this question btw :) $\endgroup$ – Zol Tun Kul Nov 26 '12 at 20:46
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The software is designed to make one stop and think: "how to make this question a better one?" If two non-duplicate questions share the same title, for at least one of the questions the title is too generic and not descriptive enough.

Remember: the title is what catches the eyes of the reader, and so ideally should contain enough information that someone who could potentially answer the question would (a) recognize that she may be able to answer the question and (b) be interested enough to look at it.

For the two questions in question, I've changed the titles to the more descriptive (and less likely for collision)

  • How to prove $a^n < n!$ for all $n$ sufficiently large, and $n! \leq n^n$ for all $n$, by induction?

and

  • How to prove $n < n!$ if $n > 2$ by induction?

respectively.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sounds good to me. Thanks :) $\endgroup$ – Zol Tun Kul Nov 27 '12 at 18:16

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