Maximum sum of nodes in Binary tree such that no two are adjacent


Given a binary tree with a value associated with each node, we need to choose a subset of these nodes such that sum of chosen nodes is maximum under a constraint that no two chosen node in subset should be directly connected that is, if we have taken a node in our sum then we can’t take its any children in consideration and vice versa.

In above binary tree chosen nodes are encircled 
and are not directly connected and their sum is
maximum possible.

Method 1

We can solve this problem by considering the fact that both node and its children can’t be in sum at same time, so when we take a node into our sum we will call recursively for its grandchildren or when we don’t take this node we will call for all its children nodes and finally we will choose maximum from both of these results.
It can be seen easily that above approach can lead to solving same subproblem many times, for example in above diagram node 1 calls node 4 and 5 when its value is chosen and node 3 also calls them when its value is not chosen so these nodes are processed more than once. We can stop solving these nodes more than once by memoizing the result at all nodes.
In below code a map is used for memoizing the result which stores result of complete subtree rooted at a node in the map, so that if it is called again, the value is not calculated again instead stored value from map is returned directly.
Please see below code for better understanding.

// C++ program to find maximum sum from a subset of
// nodes of binary tree
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;

/* A binary tree node structure */
struct node
    int data;
    struct node *left, *right;

/* Utility function to create a new Binary Tree node */
struct node* newNode(int data)
    struct node *temp = new struct node;
    temp->data = data;
    temp->left = temp->right = NULL;
    return temp;

//  Declaration of methods
int sumOfGrandChildren(node* node);
int getMaxSum(node* node);
int getMaxSumUtil(node* node, map<struct node*, int>& mp);

// method returns maximum sum possible from subtrees rooted
// at grandChildrens of node 'node'
int sumOfGrandChildren(node* node, map<struct node*, int>& mp)
    int sum = 0;

    //  call for children of left child only if it is not NULL
    if (node->left)
        sum += getMaxSumUtil(node->left->left, mp) +
               getMaxSumUtil(node->left->right, mp);

    //  call for children of right child only if it is not NULL
    if (node->right)
        sum += getMaxSumUtil(node->right->left, mp) +
               getMaxSumUtil(node->right->right, mp);

    return sum;

//  Utility method to return maximum sum rooted at node 'node'
int getMaxSumUtil(node* node, map<struct node*, int>& mp)
    if (node == NULL)
        return 0;

    // If node is already processed then return calculated
    // value from map
    if (mp.find(node) != mp.end())
        return mp[node];

    //  take current node value and call for all grand children
    int incl = node->data + sumOfGrandChildren(node, mp);

    //  don't take current node value and call for all children
    int excl = getMaxSumUtil(node->left, mp) +
               getMaxSumUtil(node->right, mp);

    //  choose maximum from both above calls and store that in map
    mp[node] = max(incl, excl);

    return mp[node];

// Returns maximum sum from subset of nodes
// of binary tree under given constraints
int getMaxSum(node* node)
    if (node == NULL)
        return 0;
    map<struct node*, int> mp;
    return getMaxSumUtil(node, mp);

//  Driver code to test above methods
int main()
    node* root = newNode(1);
    root->left = newNode(2);
    root->right = newNode(3);
    root->right->left = newNode(4);
    root->right->right = newNode(5);
    root->left->left = newNode(1);

    cout << getMaxSum(root) << endl;
    return 0;




Method 2 (Using pair in STL)

Return a pair for each node in the binary tree such that first of the pair indicates maximum sum when the data of node is included and second indicates maximum sum when the data of a particular node is not included.

// C++ program to find maximum sum in Binary Tree
// such that no two nodes are adjacent.
using namespace std;

class Node
    int data;
    Node* left, *right;
    Node(int data)
        this->data = data;
        left = NULL;
        right = NULL;

pair<int, int> maxSumHelper(Node *root)
    if (root==NULL)
        pair<int, int> sum(0, 0);
        return sum;
    pair<int, int> sum1 = maxSumHelper(root->left);
    pair<int, int> sum2 = maxSumHelper(root->right);
    pair<int, int> sum;

    // This node is included (Left and right children
    // are not included)
    sum.first = sum1.second + sum2.second + root->data;

    // This node is excluded (Either left or right
    // child is included)
    sum.second = max(sum1.first, sum1.second) +
                 max(sum2.first, sum2.second);

    return sum;

int maxSum(Node *root)
    pair<int, int> res = maxSumHelper(root);
    return max(res.first, res.second);

// Driver code
int main()
    Node *root= new Node(10);
    root->left= new Node(1);
    root->left->left= new Node(2);
    root->left->left->left= new Node(1);
    root->left->right= new Node(3);
    root->left->right->left= new Node(4);
    root->left->right->right= new Node(5);
    cout << maxSum(root);
    return 0;



Time complexity O(n)

Thanks to Surbhi Rastogi for suggesting this method.

This article is contributed by Utkarsh Trivedi. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using or mail your article to See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.

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