Find the largest three elements in an array

Given an array with all distinct elements, find the largest three elements. Expected time complexity is O(n) and extra space is O(1).

Examples :

Input: arr[] = {10, 4, 3, 50, 23, 90}
Output: 90, 50, 23

Below is algorithm:

1) Initialize the largest three elements as minus infinite.
    first = second = third = -∞

2) Iterate through all elements of array.
   a) Let current array element be x.
   b) If (x > first)
      {
          // This order of assignment is important
          third = second
          second = first
          first = x   
       }
   c)  Else if (x > second)
      {
          third = second
          second = x 
      }
   d)  Else if (x > third)
      {
          third = x  
      }

3) Print first, second and third.

Below is the implementation of above algorithm.

C

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#include <stdio.h>
#include <limits.h> /* For INT_MIN */
   
/* Function to print three largest elements */
void print3largest(int arr[], int arr_size)
{
    int i, first, second, third;
   
    /* There should be atleast three elements */
    if (arr_size < 3)
    {
        printf(" Invalid Input ");
        return;
    }
   
    third = first = second = INT_MIN;
    for (i = 0; i < arr_size ; i ++)
    {
        /* If current element is greater than first*/
        if (arr[i] > first)
        {
            third = second;
            second = first;
            first = arr[i];
        }
   
        /* If arr[i] is in between first and second then update second  */
        else if (arr[i] > second)
        {
            third = second;
            second = arr[i];
        }
   
        else if (arr[i] > third)
            third = arr[i];
    }
   
    printf("Three largest elements are %d %d %d\n", first, second, third);
}
   
   
/* Driver program to test above function */
int main()
{
    int arr[] = {12, 13, 1, 10, 34, 1};
    int n = sizeof(arr)/sizeof(arr[0]);
    print3largest(arr, n);
    return 0;
}
/*This code is edited by Ayush Singla(@ayusin51)*/

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Java

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// Java code to find largest three elements
// in an array
  
class PrintLargest
{
    /* Function to print three largest elements */
    static void print3largest(int arr[], int arr_size)
    {
        int i, first, second, third;
    
        /* There should be atleast three elements */
        if (arr_size < 3)
        {
            System.out.print(" Invalid Input ");
            return;
        }
        
        third = first = second = Integer.MIN_VALUE;
        for (i = 0; i < arr_size ; i ++)
        {
            /* If current element is greater than
            first*/
            if (arr[i] > first)
            {
                third = second;
                second = first;
                first = arr[i];
            }
        
            /* If arr[i] is in between first and
            second then update second  */
            else if (arr[i] > second)
            {
                third = second;
                second = arr[i];
            }
        
            else if (arr[i] > third)
                third = arr[i];
        }
        
        System.out.println("Three largest elements are " +
                       first + " " + second + " " + third);
    }
  
    /* Driver program to test above function*/
    public static void main (String[] args)
    {
        int arr[] = {12, 13, 1, 10, 34, 1};
        int n = arr.length;
        print3largest(arr, n);
    }
}
/*This code is contributed by Prakriti Gupta 
and edited by Ayush Singla(@ayusin51)*/

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Python3

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# Python3 code to find largest three
# elements in an array
import sys
  
# Function to print three largest 
# elements 
def print3largest(arr, arr_size):
  
    # There should be atleast three
    # elements 
    if (arr_size < 3):
      
        print(" Invalid Input ")
        return
      
    third = first = second = -sys.maxsize
      
    for i in range(0, arr_size):
      
        # If current element is greater
        # than first
        if (arr[i] > first):
          
            third = second
            second = first
            first = arr[i]
          
  
        # If arr[i] is in between first
        # and second then update second 
        elif (arr[i] > second):
          
            third = second
            second = arr[i]
          
        elif (arr[i] > third):
            third = arr[i]
      
    print("Three largest elements are",
                  first, second, third)
  
# Driver program to test above function 
arr = [12, 13, 1, 10, 34, 1]
n = len(arr)
print3largest(arr, n)
  
# This code is contributed by Smitha Dinesh Semwal 
# and edited by Ayush Singla(@ayusin51).

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C#

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// C# code to find largest 
// three elements in an array
using System;
  
class PrintLargest
{
      
    // Function to print three 
    // largest elements
    static void print3largest(int[] arr,
                              int arr_size)
    {
        int i, first, second, third;
      
        // There should be atleast three elements
        if (arr_size < 3)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Invalid Input");
            return;
        }
          
        third = first = second = 000;
        for (i = 0; i < arr_size ; i ++)
        {
            // If current element is 
            // greater than first
            if (arr[i] > first)
            {
                third = second;
                second = first;
                first = arr[i];
            }
          
            // If arr[i] is in between first
            // and second then update second
            else if (arr[i] > second)
            {
                third = second;
                second = arr[i];
            }
          
            else if (arr[i] > third)
                third = arr[i];
        }
          
        Console.WriteLine("Three largest elements are " +
                           first + " " + second +
                           " " + third);
    }
  
    // Driver code
    public static void Main ()
    {
        int[] arr = new int[] {12, 13, 1, 10, 34, 1};
        int n = arr.Length;
        print3largest(arr, n);
    }
}
  
// This code is contributed by KRV and edited by Ayush Singla(@ayusin51). 

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PHP

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<?php
// PHP code to find largest 
// three elements in an array
  
// Function to print 
// three largest elements
function print3largest($arr, $arr_size)
{
    $i; $first; $second; $third;
  
    // There should be atleast
    // three elements 
    if ($arr_size < 3)
    {
        echo " Invalid Input ";
        return;
    }
  
    $third = $first = $second = PHP_INT_MIN;
    for ($i = 0; $i < $arr_size ; $i ++)
    {
        // If current element is
        // greater than first
        if ($arr[$i] > $first)
        {
            $third = $second;
            $second = $first;
            $first = $arr[$i];
        }
  
        // If arr[i] is in between first 
        // and second then update second 
        else if ($arr[$i] > $second)
        {
            $third = $second;
            $second = $arr[$i];
        }
  
        else if ($arr[$i] > $third)
            $third = $arr[$i];
    }
  
    echo "Three largest elements are "
       $first," ", $second," ", $third;
}
  
  
// Driver Code
$arr = array(12, 13, 1, 
             10, 34, 1);
$n = count($arr);
print3largest($arr, $n);
  
// This code is contributed by anuj_67 and edited by Ayush Singla(@ayusin51).
?>

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Output :

Three largest elements are 34 13 12

Another approach:An efficient way to solve this problem is to use any O(nLogn) sorting algorithm & simply returning the last 3 largest elements .

C++

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// C++ code to find largest 
// three elements in an array
#include<bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
  
void find3largest(int arr[], int n)
{
    sort(arr, arr + n); //It uses Tuned Quicksort with 
                    //avg. case Time complexity = O(nLogn)
          
    int check = 0, count = 1;
          
    for(int i = 1; i <= n; i++)
    {
              
        if(count<4)
        {
            if(check != arr[n - i]) 
            
                // to handle duplicate values
                cout << arr[n - i] << " ";
                check = arr[n - i];
                count++;
            }
        }
        else
            break;
    }
}
      
// Driver code
int main()
{
    int arr[] = {12, 45, 1, -1, 45, 54, 23, 5, 0, -10};
    int n = sizeof(arr)/sizeof(arr[0]);
    find3largest(arr, n);
}
  
// This code is contibuted by Rajput-Ji

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Java

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// Java code to find largest 
// three elements in an array
  
  
import java.io.*;
import java.util.Arrays;
  
class GFG {
     void find3largest(int[] arr)
    {
        Arrays.sort(arr); //It uses Tuned Quicksort with 
                         //avg. case Time complexity = O(nLogn)
        int n = arr.length;
        int check = 0, count = 1;
          
        for(int i = 1; i <= n; i++){
              
            if(count<4){
                if(check!=arr[n-i]) 
                
                   // to handle duplicate values
                    System.out.print(arr[n-i]+" ");
                    check = arr[n-i];
                    count++;
                }
            }
             else 
                break;
        }
          
    }
      
   // Driver code
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        GFG obj = new GFG();
        int[] arr={12,45,1,-1,45,54,23,5,0,-10};
        obj.find3largest(arr);
    }
      
}
//This code is contibuted by Prashant Malik

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Python3

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# Python3 code to find largest
# three elements in an array
def find3largest(arr, n):
    arr = sorted(arr) # It uses Tuned Quicksort with
                      # avg. case Time complexity = O(nLogn)
  
    check = 0
    count = 1
  
    for i in range(1, n + 1):
  
        if(count < 4):
            if(check != arr[n - i]):
                  
                # to handle duplicate values
                print(arr[n - i], end = " ")
                check = arr[n - i]
                count += 1
        else:
            break
  
# Driver code
arr = [12, 45, 1, -1, 45
       54, 23, 5, 0, -10]
n = len(arr)
find3largest(arr, n)
  
# This code is contibuted by mohit kumar

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C#

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// C# code to find largest 
// three elements in an array
using System;
  
class GFG 
{
void find3largest(int[] arr)
{
    Array.Sort(arr); // It uses Tuned Quicksort with 
                     // avg. case Time complexity = O(nLogn)
    int n = arr.Length;
    int check = 0, count = 1;
      
    for(int i = 1; i <= n; i++)
    {
        if(count < 4)
        {
            if(check != arr[n - i]) 
            
                // to handle duplicate values
                Console.Write(arr[n - i] + " ");
                check = arr[n - i];
                count++;
            }
        }
        else
            break;
    }
}
  
// Driver code
public static void Main()
{
    GFG obj = new GFG();
    int[] arr = {12, 45, 1, -1, 45, 
                 54, 23, 5, 0, -10};
    obj.find3largest(arr);
}
}
  
// This code is contibuted by Code_Mech

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Output :

 54 45 23 

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