# Symbol ambiguity

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hi, I'm researching a paper and I can't tell if the ? symbol in this equation:

p(?|I ) ? L(I |?)? (?)

means proportionality or Karp reduction, how do I tell the difference?

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Can't you tell by the context?

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From the notation ("p," and the "|" symbol in the "argument"), it looks like we're working with probabilities (to which the concept of proportionality applies), not computational problems (to which the concept of Karp reduction applies), so I'm pretty certain "?" should be read here as "is proportional to."

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thanks, I was just wondering if there was a definite way to tell the difference rather than just assuming.

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It should be evident from the context what's the meaning of the operator. If all you have is an equation you can only guess.

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