# Check if item can be measured using a scale and some weights in Python

Suppose we have some weights like a^0, a^1, a^2, …, a^100, here 'a' is an integer, and we also have a weighing scale where weights can be put on both the sides of that scale. We have to check whether a particular item of weight W can be measured using these weights or not.

So, if the input is like a = 4, W = 17, then the output will be True the weights are a^0 = 1, a^1 = 4, a^2 = 16, we can get 16 + 1 = 17.

To solve this, we will follow these steps −

• found := False
• Define a function util() . This will take idx, itemWt, weights, N
• if found is true, then
• return
• if itemWt is same as 0, then
• found := True
• return
• if idx > N, then
• return
• util(idx + 1, itemWt, weights, N)
• util(idx + 1, itemWt + weights[idx], weights, N)
• util(idx + 1, itemWt - weights[idx], weights, N)
• From the main method do the following −
• if a is either 2 or 3, then
• return True
• weights := a list of size 100 and fill with 0
• total_weights := 0
• weights := 1, i := 1
• Do the following infinitely, do
• weights[i] := weights[i - 1] * a
• total_weights := total_weights + 1
• if weights[i] > 10^7
• come out from loop
• i := i + 1
• util(0, W, weights, total_weights)
• if found true, then
• return True
• return False

## Example

Let us see the following implementation to get better understanding −

Live Demo

found = False
def util(idx, itemWt, weights, N):
global found
if found:
return
if itemWt == 0:
found = True
return
if idx > N:
return
util(idx + 1, itemWt, weights, N)
util(idx + 1, itemWt + weights[idx], weights, N)
util(idx + 1, itemWt - weights[idx], weights, N)
def solve(a, W):
global found
if a == 2 or a == 3:
return True
weights =  * 100
total_weights = 0
weights = 1
i = 1
while True:
weights[i] = weights[i - 1] * a
total_weights += 1
if weights[i] > 10**7:
break
i += 1
util(0, W, weights, total_weights)
if found:
return True
return False
a = 4
W = 17
print(solve(a, W))

## Input

4, 17

## Output

True