Given two strings s1 and s2, the task is to find the minimum number of steps required to convert s1 into s2. The only operation allowed is to swap adjacent elements in the first string. Every swap is counted as a single step.
Input: s1 = “abcd”, s2 = “cdab”
Swap 2nd and 3rd element, abcd => acbd
Swap 1st and 2nd element, acbd => cabd
Swap 3rd and 4th element, cabd => cadb
Swap 2nd and 3rd element, cadb => cdab
Minimum 4 swaps are required.
Input: s1 = “abcfdegji”, s2 = “fjiacbdge”
Approach: Use two pointers i and j for first and second strings respectively. Initialise i and j to 0.
Iterate over the first string and find the position j such that s1[j] = s2[i] by incrementing the value to j. Keep on swapping the adjacent elements j and j – 1 and decrement j until it is greater than i.
Now the ith element of the first string is equal to the second string, hence increment the value of i.
This technique will give the minimum number of steps as there are zero unnecessary swaps.
Below is the implementation of the above approach:
- Convert string X to an anagram of string Y with minimum replacements
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- Generate permutations with only adjacent swaps allowed
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