# Find minimum sum such that one of every three consecutive elements is taken

Given an array of n non-negative numbers, the task is to find the minimum sum of elements (picked from the array) such that at least one element is picked out of every 3 consecutive elements in the array.

Examples:

```Input : arr[] = {1, 2, 3}
Output : 1

Input : arr[] = {1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 1}
Output : 4
We pick 3 and 1  (3 + 1 = 4)
Note that there are following subarrays
of three consecutive elements
{1, 2, 3}, {2, 3, 6}, {3, 6, 7} and {6, 7, 1}
We have picked one element from every subarray.

Input : arr[] = {1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 1, 8, 6, 2,
7, 7, 1}
Output : 7
The result is obtained as sum of 3 + 1 + 2 + 1
```

## Recommended: Please solve it on “PRACTICE” first, before moving on to the solution.

Let sum(i) be the minimum possible sum when arr[i] is part of a solution sum (not necessarily result) and is last picked element. Then our result is minimum of sum(n-1), sum(n-2) and sum(n-3) [We must pick at least one of the last three elements].
We can recursively compute sum(i) as sum of arr[i] and minimum(sum(i-1), sum(i-2), sum(i-3)). Since there are overlapping subproblems in recursive structure of problem, we can use Dynamic Programming to solve this problem.

Below is C++ implementation of above idea.

```// A Dynamic Programming based C++ program to
// find minimum possible sum of elements of array
// such that an element out of every three
// consecutive is picked.
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

// A utility function to find minimum of
// 3 elements
int minimum(int a, int b, int c)
{
return min(min(a, b), c);
}

// Returns minimum possible sum of elements such
// that an element out of every three consecutive
// elements is picked.
int findMinSum(int arr[], int n)
{
// Create a DP table to store results of
// subpriblems. sum[i] is going to store
// minimum possible sum when arr[i] is
// part of the solution.
int sum[n];

// When there are less than or equal to
// 3 elements
sum[0] = arr[0];
sum[1] = arr[1];
sum[2] = arr[2];

// Iterate through all other elements
for (int i=3; i<n; i++)
sum[i] = arr[i] +
minimum(sum[i-3], sum[i-2], sum[i-1]);

return minimum(sum[n-1], sum[n-2], sum[n-3]);
}

// Driver code
int main()
{
int arr[] = {1, 2, 3, 20, 2, 10, 1};
int n = sizeof(arr)/sizeof(arr[0]);
cout << "Min Sum is " << findMinSum(arr, n);
return 0;
}
```

Output:

```Min Sum is 4
```

Time Complexity : O(n)
Auxiliary Space : O(n)

This problem and solution are contributed by Ayush Saluja. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

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3.5 Average Difficulty : 3.5/5.0
Based on 25 vote(s)