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C Program To Delete Alternate Nodes Of A Linked List

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Given a Singly Linked List, starting from the second node delete all alternate nodes of it. For example, if the given linked list is 1->2->3->4->5 then your function should convert it to 1->3->5, and if the given linked list is 1->2->3->4 then convert it to 1->3.

Method 1 (Iterative): 
Keep track of previous of the node to be deleted. First, change the next link of the previous node and iteratively move to the next node.


// C program to remove alternate nodes
// of a linked list
// A linked list node
struct Node
    int data;
    struct Node *next;
// Deletes alternate nodes of a list
// starting with head
void deleteAlt(struct Node *head)
    if (head == NULL)
    // Initialize prev and node to
    // be deleted
    struct Node *prev = head;
    struct Node *node = head->next;
    while (prev != NULL &&
           node != NULL)
        // Change next link of previous
        // node
        prev->next = node->next;
        // Free memory
        // Update prev and node
        prev = prev->next;
        if (prev != NULL)
            node = prev->next;
// fun1() and fun2()
/* Given a reference (pointer to pointer)
   to the head of a list and an int, push
   a new node on the front of the list. */
void push(struct Node** head_ref,
          int new_data)
    // Allocate node 
    struct Node* new_node =
           (struct Node*) malloc(sizeof(struct Node));
    // Put in the data 
    new_node->data = new_data;
    // Link the old list of the
    // new node
    new_node->next = (*head_ref);
    // Move the head to point to
    // the new node
    (*head_ref) = new_node;
// Function to print nodes in a
// given linked list
void printList(struct Node *node)
    while (node != NULL)
        printf("%d ", node->data);
        node = node->next;
// Driver code
int main()
    // Start with the empty list
    struct Node* head = NULL;
    /* Using push() to construct list
       1->2->3->4->5  */
    push(&head, 5);
    push(&head, 4);
    push(&head, 3);
    push(&head, 2);
    push(&head, 1);
    printf("\nList before calling deleteAlt() \n");
    printf("\nList after calling deleteAlt() \n");
    return 0;


List before calling deleteAlt() 
1 2 3 4 5 
List after calling deleteAlt() 
1 3 5 

Time Complexity: O(n) where n is the number of nodes in the given Linked List.

Auxiliary Space: O(1) because it is using constant space

Method 2 (Recursive): 
Recursive code uses the same approach as method 1. The recursive code is simple and short but causes O(n) recursive function calls for a linked list of size n.


// Deletes alternate nodes of a list
// starting with head
void deleteAlt(struct Node *head)
    if (head == NULL)
    struct Node *node = head->next;
    if (node == NULL)
    // Change the next link of head
    head->next = node->next;
    // Free memory allocated for node
    // Recursively call for the new
    // next of head

Time Complexity: O(n)

Auxiliary space: O(n) for call stack because using recursion

Please refer complete article on Delete alternate nodes of a Linked List for more details!

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Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2023
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