Overview

When performing simple arithmetic with mixed fractions, finding the Lowest Common Multiple and Highest Common Factor enables simple calculations.

For example:  

25/120 + 32/72
= (25*3)/(120*3) + (32*5)/(72*5)
= 75/360 + 160/360
= 235/360
= (235/5)/(360/5)
47/72

To do this both numbers must be factorized, to determine the common factors of the two numbers, the LCM of the two numbers, and the factor you must multiply both denominators and numerators by so both fractions have a common denominator.






The factorize Method

The factorize Method first determines the prime factors for both numbers entered, then compares those factors for common factors. The leftmost ListBox (labeled A.) contains the unique prime factors for the leftmost number. The rightmost ListBox (labeled C.) contains the unique prime factors for the rightmost number. Those factors that are present in both user entered numbers are listed in the middle Listbox.

The prime factors are determined by recursively compiling a list of all possible divisors of a number, starting with the initial user entered number, then repeating this operation with the penultimate number in the list as the new target on each iteration until the list only contains two numbers. The second number in the list, on each iteration is always a prime factor which also when multiplied by the list's penultimate number equals the target.

Private Sub factorize(ByVal numbers() As Integer, ByVal listBoxes() As ListBox, ByVal outputLabels() As Label)
    If numbers.First > 9999999 OrElse numbers.Last > 9999999 Then
        MsgBox("One or both numbers too large to factorise stably", MsgBoxStyle.Information)
        Return
    End If
  
    For x As Integer = 0 To 1
        Dim divisors As List(Of Integer) = getDivisors(numbers(x))
        If divisors.Count <> 2 Then
            Dim levels As New List(Of Point)
            levels.Add(New Point(numbers(x), 1))
            Do
                divisors = getDivisors(levels.Last.X)
                If divisors.Count > 2 Then
                    levels.Add(New Point(divisors(divisors.Count - 2), divisors(1)))
                Else
                    Exit Do
                End If
            Loop
            Dim factors As New List(Of Integer)
            For Each p As Point In levels
                If Not p.Y = 1 Then
                    factors.Add(p.Y)
                End If
            Next
            factors.Add(levels.Last.X)
            factors.Sort()
            listBoxes(If(x = 0, 0, 2)).Items.Clear()
            listBoxes(If(x = 0, 0, 2)).Items.AddRange(factors.Select(Function(i) i.ToString).ToArray)
        Else
            listBoxes(0).Items.Clear()
            listBoxes(1).Items.Clear()
            listBoxes(2).Items.Clear()
            outputLabels(0).Text = "LCM ="
            outputLabels(1).Text = "HCF = "
            MsgBox(String.Format("{0} is a Prime Number", numbers(x)), MsgBoxStyle.Information)
            Return
        End If
    Next
  
    listBoxes(1).Items.Clear()
  
 
   For x As Integer = listBoxes(0).Items.Count - 1 To 0 Step -1
        Dim value As String = listBoxes(0).Items(x).ToString
        Dim index As Integer = listBoxes(2).FindStringExact(value)
        If index > -1 Then
            listBoxes(1).Items.Add(value)
            listBoxes(0).Items.RemoveAt(x)
            listBoxes(2).Items.RemoveAt(index)
        End If
    Next
  
    Dim dt As New DataTable
    Dim productString1 As String = String.Join("*", listBoxes(0).Items.Cast(Of String).ToArray)
  
    If listBoxes(1).Items.Count > 0 Then
        Dim productString2 As String = String.Join("*", listBoxes(1).Items.Cast(Of String).ToArray)
        productString1 &= If(listBoxes(0).Items.Count > 0, "*", "") & productString2
        outputLabels(1).Text = String.Format("HCF ({0}) = {1}", productString2, dt.Compute(productString2, Nothing))
    Else
        outputLabels(1).Text = "HCF = "
   End If
 
   productString1 &= If(listBoxes(2).Items.Count > 0, "*", "") & String.Join("*", listBoxes(2).Items.Cast(Of String).ToArray)
   outputLabels(0).Text = String.Format("LCM ({0}) = {1}", productString1, dt.Compute(productString1, Nothing))
 
End Sub

 


The getDivisors Function

The getDivisors Function returns a list of all possible divisor pairs sorted ASC


Private Function getDivisors(ByVal x As Integer) As List(Of Integer)
     Return New List(Of Integer)(Enumerable.Range(1, x).Where(Function(n) x Mod n = 0).ToArray)
End Function

 


Other Resources