Friday, August 30, 2013

find four elements in array whose sum equal to a given number X

This can be solved efficiently via using HashTables.

We can have a hashtable sums sums will store all possible sums of two different elements. For each sum S it returns pair of indexes i and j such that a[i] + a[j] == S and i != j. But initially it's empty, we'll populate it on the way. So, this can be done in O(n^2) time.

Pseudocode


for (int i = 0; i < n; ++i) {
    // 'sums' hastable holds all possible sums a[k] + a[l]
    // where k and l are both less than i

    for (int j = i + 1; j < n; ++j) {
        int current = a[i] + a[j];
        int rest = X - current;
        // Now we need to find if there're different numbers k and l
        // such that a[k] + a[l] == rest and k < i and l < i
        // but we have 'sums' hashtable prepared for that
        if (sums[rest] != null) {
            // found it
        }
    }

    // now let's put in 'sums' hashtable all possible sums
    // a[i] + a[k] where k < i
    for (int k = 0; k < i; ++k) {
        sums[a[i] + a[k]] = pair(i, k);
    }
}

Thanks.

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