I am trying to learn about basic hashing using the modulo operator and am a bit confused. In the text that I am reading, it says that the modulo operator can be used to accept an input of any length and return a fixed-size output. However, take 1mod11 = 1 and 21mod11 = 10. The first equation yields a one-digit number and the second equation yields a two-digit number, how is it returning a fixed-sized output? Yes, a trivial question, but it's just not clicking for me - anyone care to explain?


1 Answer 1


Your example (using mod 11) is fixed-size in the number of digits because it will never be more than 2 digits. If you don't like having 1 or 2 digits, you can prefix the 1-digit number with leading 0s. If you took all the numbers mod 10, they'd all be 1 digit.

Other ways of thinking about it

The output can always be represented by $n$ or fewer digits.

The output is one of a finite set of values, e.g., 0, 1, 2, 3, ..., 10.


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