# Longest Common Prefix | Set 5 (Using Trie)

Given a set of strings, find the longest common prefix.

```Input  : {“geeksforgeeks”, “geeks”, “geek”, “geezer”}
Output : "gee"

Input  : {"apple", "ape", "april"}
Output : "ap"
```

Previous Approaches : Word by Word Matching , Character by Character Matching, Divide and Conquer , Binary Search.

In this article, an approach using Trie date structure is discussed.
Steps:

• Insert all the words one by one in the trie. After inserting we perform a walk on the trie.
• In this walk, go deeper until we find a node having more than 1 children(branching occurs) or 0 children (one of the string gets exhausted).

This is because the characters (nodes in trie) which are present in the longest common prefix must be the single child of its parent, i.e- there should not be a branching in any of these nodes.

Algorithm Illustration considering strings as – “geeksforgeeks”, “geeks”, “geek”, “geezer”

## C++

```// A Program to find the longest common
// prefix of the given words

#include<bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;

// Alphabet size (# of symbols)
#define ALPHABET_SIZE (26)

// Converts key current character into index
// use only 'a' through 'z' and lower case
#define CHAR_TO_INDEX(c) ((int)c - (int)'a')

// Trie node
struct TrieNode
{
struct TrieNode *children[ALPHABET_SIZE];

// isLeaf is true if the node represents
// end of a word
bool isLeaf;
};

// Returns new trie node (initialized to NULLs)
struct TrieNode *getNode(void)
{
struct TrieNode *pNode = new TrieNode;

if (pNode)
{
int i;

pNode->isLeaf = false;

for (i = 0; i < ALPHABET_SIZE; i++)
pNode->children[i] = NULL;
}

return pNode;
}

// If not present, inserts key into trie
// If the key is prefix of trie node, just marks leaf node
void insert(struct TrieNode *root, string key)
{
int length = key.length();
int index;

struct TrieNode *pCrawl = root;

for (int level = 0; level < length; level++)
{
index = CHAR_TO_INDEX(key[level]);
if (!pCrawl->children[index])
pCrawl->children[index] = getNode();

pCrawl = pCrawl->children[index];
}

// mark last node as leaf
pCrawl->isLeaf = true;
}

// Counts and returns the number of children of the
// current node
int countChildren(struct TrieNode *node, int *index)
{
int count = 0;
for (int i=0; i<ALPHABET_SIZE; i++)
{
if (node->children[i] != NULL)
{
count++;
*index = i;
}
}
return (count);
}

// Peform a walk on the trie and return the
// longest common prefix string
string walkTrie(struct TrieNode *root)
{
struct TrieNode *pCrawl = root;
int index;
string prefix;

while (countChildren(pCrawl, &index) == 1 &&
pCrawl->isLeaf == false)
{
pCrawl = pCrawl->children[index];
prefix.push_back('a'+index);
}
return (prefix);
}

// A Function to construct trie
void constructTrie(string arr[], int n, struct TrieNode *root)
{
for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
insert (root, arr[i]);
return;
}

// A Function that returns the longest common prefix
// from the array of strings
string commonPrefix(string arr[], int n)
{
struct TrieNode *root = getNode();
constructTrie(arr, n, root);

// Perform a walk on the trie
return walkTrie(root);
}

// Driver program to test above function
int main()
{
string arr[] = {"geeksforgeeks", "geeks",
"geek", "geezer"};
int n = sizeof (arr) / sizeof (arr[0]);

string ans = commonPrefix(arr, n);

if (ans.length())
cout << "The longest common prefix is "
<< ans;
else
cout << "There is no common prefix";
return (0);
}
```

## Java

```// Java Program to find the longest common
// prefix of the given words
public class Longest_common_prefix {

// Alphabet size (# of symbols)
static final int ALPHABET_SIZE = 26;

// Trie node
static class TrieNode
{
TrieNode[] children = new TrieNode[ALPHABET_SIZE];

// isLeaf is true if the node represents
// end of a word
boolean isLeaf;

// constructor
public TrieNode() {
isLeaf = false;
for (int i = 0; i < ALPHABET_SIZE; i++)
children[i] = null;
}
};

static TrieNode root;
static int indexs;

// If not present, inserts key into trie
// If the key is prefix of trie node, just marks
// leaf node
static void insert(String key)
{
int length = key.length();
int index;

TrieNode pCrawl = root;

for (int level = 0; level < length; level++)
{
index = key.charAt(level) - 'a';
if (pCrawl.children[index] == null)
pCrawl.children[index] = new TrieNode();

pCrawl = pCrawl.children[index];
}

// mark last node as leaf
pCrawl.isLeaf = true;
}

// Counts and returns the number of children of the
// current node
static int countChildren(TrieNode node)
{
int count = 0;
for (int i=0; i<ALPHABET_SIZE; i++)
{
if (node.children[i] != null)
{
count++;
indexs = i;
}
}
return (count);
}

// Peform a walk on the trie and return the
// longest common prefix string
static String walkTrie()
{
TrieNode pCrawl = root;
indexs = 0;
String prefix = "";

while (countChildren(pCrawl) == 1 &&
pCrawl.isLeaf == false)
{
pCrawl = pCrawl.children[indexs];
prefix += (char)('a' + indexs);
}
return prefix;
}

// A Function to construct trie
static void constructTrie(String arr[], int n)
{
for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
insert (arr[i]);
return;
}

// A Function that returns the longest common prefix
// from the array of strings
static String commonPrefix(String arr[], int n)
{
root = new TrieNode();
constructTrie(arr, n);

// Perform a walk on the trie
return walkTrie();
}

// Driver program to test above function
public static void main(String args[])
{
String arr[] = {"geeksforgeeks", "geeks",
"geek", "geezer"};
int n = arr.length;

String ans = commonPrefix(arr, n);

if (ans.length() != 0)
System.out.println("The longest common prefix is "+ans);
else
System.out.println("There is no common prefix");
}
}
// This code is contributed by Sumit Ghosh
```

Output :

`The longest common prefix is gee`

Time Complexity : Inserting all the words in the trie takes O(MN) time and performing a walk on the trie takes O(M) time, where-

```N = Number of strings
M = Length of the largest string string
```

Auxiliary Space: To store all the strings we need to allocate O(26*M*N) ~ O(MN) space for the Trie.

This article is contributed by Rachit Belwariar. 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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