Concerning this question:

Possible trajectories with time travel

I see currently four close votes, casted before the OP's latest edit, which was made with the intention to make the question more focussed. Still it got only one reopen vote (yes, mine).

Can the close-voters (or maybe some other community member) please be so kind and tell the OP about their expectations, how this question can be "made focussed enough" for SE.SE, in case they think it is still not? Or, in case they (or other community members) think the edit was sufficient, would you be so kind and vote for reopening?

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    I am eager to address the comments, but it's been already 3 days... – cdupont May 10 at 8:57
  • @cdupont: well, Meta.SE is not a high frequency site, but if we don't get any response within the next days, I think I will try to discuss what the unwillingness of certain community members to explain their (IMHO sometimes strange) close voting behaviour, and the unwillingness of enough other members to cast reopen votes means for the upcoming "3 close vote" rule change – Doc Brown May 10 at 10:12
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    @cdupont: when you look at Thomas Owens's answer below,at least his main concern against reopening the question is that it can be (mis?)interpreted as a 3rd party resource request. Moreover, askers should demonstrate what they tried by themselves before asking - the fact you removed exactly these parts from your original post wasn't probably a good idea. – Doc Brown May 17 at 6:42

I disagree with the close reason, but not the closure.

I'm trying to find an algorithm

Those words give the initial impression of a recommendation question, which is one of the categories that are explicitly off-topic. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone to read through at least a few Help Center pages, like the on-topic page, before creating questions here.

However, first impressions don't always give the best impression of a question. I read on and found no evidence that it was any more than a recommendation question. The request for a recommendation was even repeated later:

Could you give an algorithm to find automatically the second solution?

I'm not sure why the close voters chose the "needs more focus" option. Even looking at the previous revision, it's quite clear that it's a recommendation question.

  • You mean it is a request for a 3rd party resource request? Like a reference to an existing scientific paper about some algorithm? I have to admit, I never read the question that way, and I am pretty sure the OP was just happy to get a scetch for algorithm with no 3rd party resource involved. As you wrote by yourself in 2016, algorithmic questions belong clearly to software design, I don't think this changed since then. – Doc Brown May 14 at 12:30
  • ... of course, I think the OP could have invested a little bit more effort into some prior research, tell us what they tried before, and why it did not suit their needs. But if that was the reason for closing as "not focussed enough" (which I don't know, I still cannot read minds), isn't it pretty strange none of the close voters is willing to tell the OP? – Doc Brown May 14 at 12:37
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    ... where I am really disappointed here is that those "community members" still burden it up to you to answer this meta question, where IMHO it would have been their responsibility to do so. It gives me the impression they are only interested in closing as much stuff as possible quickly, but not in curating any questions. – Doc Brown May 14 at 13:18
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    @DocBrown I think that providing more information about prior research and what is being attempted could turn it from a resource request and into an algorithm design question, which would be on-topic. Some attempts at creating an algorithm and expressing it in the language of choice (including pseudocode) would be required, though, to frame answers in the context of the algorithm under design/development rather than finding a suitable algorithm. – Thomas Owens May 14 at 13:52
  • Thomas, consider having a look at the second revision of the discussed question. Per my reading, some sort of a research attempt was present in the first revision, and it seems to further enhanced in second rev. In later revisions it was removed though – gnat May 16 at 18:17
  • Hi guys, thanks for giving me directions on how to rewrite the question. I removed the "prior research" part, because I thought it made it look less focused. Instead, I preferred to ask for an algorithm with clear criteria and clear inputs. I'm perfectly fine with the sketch algorithms that was given. What do you suggest? Should I add back the prior research? Maybe I can reformulate the question "Could you give an algorithm to find automatically the second solution?" with "Could you write an algorithm sketch to find automatically the second solution?" – cdupont May 17 at 10:55
  • PS. It's essentially an algorithmic question. If the algorithm includes complex notions such as graph theory, I can find the library myself. – cdupont May 17 at 10:58
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    @cdupont If you add back in the prior research/what you've tried, please ping me. I can take another look at content and formatting and probably reopen it. I'd agree with gnat that some of the stuff from the first revision that was removed definitely made it a better question. Just leave a comment here when you're done and I'll take a quick look and see if I can't reopen. – Thomas Owens May 17 at 11:45
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    @ThomasOwens done! – cdupont May 17 at 16:23
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    @cdupont I cleaned it up a bit and then reopened. No big content changes - just cleaning up some spelling, grammar, and I tried to improve the flow with how you presented the initial solution. – Thomas Owens May 17 at 17:49
  • @ThomasOwens thanks a lot. At the moment I don't see it as open but I guess others need to vote. Thanks again – cdupont May 17 at 18:40
  • @cdupont Fixed that. I may have dismissed the confirmation instead of clicking OK. Should have forced the refresh to be sure. – Thomas Owens May 17 at 18:48

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