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Minimum number of characters required to be removed such that every character occurs same number of times
  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 09 Apr, 2021

Given a string S of length N, the task is to find the minimum number of characters required to be removed such that every distinct character in the string occurs same number of times.

Examples:

Input: S = “abcbccdddd”
Output: 4
Explanation: Removing an occurrence of the characters ‘a’, ‘c’ and two occurrences of ‘d’ modifies the string to “bbccdd”. Therefore, every character in the string ocuurs same number of times.

Input : S = “geeksforgeeks”
Output : 5
Explanation: Removing an occurrence of ‘r’, ‘f’, ‘and ‘o’ and removing two occurrences of ‘e’ modifies S to “geeksgks”.

 

Approach: The idea is to use the multiset and map. Follow the steps below to solve the problem:



  • Initialize a map<char, int> say countMap and a multiset<int> say countMultiset to store the frequency of every character.
  • Initialize a variable say ans as INT_MAX to store the count of minimum characters to be removed.
  • Traverse the string S and increment count of S[i] in countMap.
  • Iterate over the map countMap and insert the frequency of the character in countMultiset.
  • Find the size of multiset countMultiset and store it in a variable say m.
  • Traverse the multiset countMultiset and update the ans as ans = min (ans, (N- (m-i)* (*it)))) and increment the i by 1.
  • Finally, after completing the above steps print the answer as ans.

Below is the implementation of the above approach:

C++




// C++ program for the above approach
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
 
// Function to find minimum number of
// character removals required to make
// frequency of all distinct characters the same
int minimumDeletion(string s, int n)
{
    // Stores the frequency
    // of each character
    map<char, int> countMap;
 
    // Traverse the string
    for (int i = 0; i < n; i++) {
        countMap[s[i]]++;
    }
 
    // Stores the frequency of each
    // charachter in sorted order
    multiset<int> countMultiset;
 
    // Traverse the Map
    for (auto it : countMap) {
 
        // Insert the frequency in multiset
        countMultiset.insert(it.second);
    }
 
    // Stores the count of elements
    // required to be removed
    int ans = INT_MAX;
 
    int i = 0;
 
    // Stores the size of multiset
    int m = countMultiset.size();
 
    // Traverse the multiset
    for (auto j : countMultiset) {
        // Update the ans
        ans = min(ans, n - (m - i) * j);
 
        // Increment i by 1
        i++;
    }
 
    // Return
    return ans;
}
 
// Driver Code
int main()
{
    // Input
    string S = "geeksforgeeks";
    int N = S.length();
 
    cout << minimumDeletion(S, N);
 
    return 0;
}

Java




// Java program for the above approach
import java.io.*;
import java.lang.*;
import java.util.*;
 
class GFG{
 
// Function to find minimum number of
// character removals required to make
// frequency of all distinct characters the same
static int minimumDeletion(String s, int n)
{
     
    // Stores the frequency
    // of each character
    HashMap<Character, Integer> countMap = new HashMap<>();
 
    // Traverse the string
    for(int i = 0; i < n; i++)
    {
        char ch = s.charAt(i);
        countMap.put(ch,
                     countMap.getOrDefault(ch, 0) + 1);
    }
 
    // Stores the frequency of each
    // charachter in sorted order
    ArrayList<Integer> countMultiset = new ArrayList<>(
        countMap.values());
    Collections.sort(countMultiset);
 
    // Stores the count of elements
    // required to be removed
    int ans = Integer.MAX_VALUE;
 
    int i = 0;
 
    // Stores the size of multiset
    int m = countMultiset.size();
 
    // Traverse the multiset
    for(int j : countMultiset)
    {
         
        // Update the ans
        ans = Math.min(ans, n - (m - i) * j);
 
        // Increment i by 1
        i++;
    }
 
    // Return
    return ans;
}
 
// Driver Code
public static void main(String[] args)
{
    // Input
    String S = "geeksforgeeks";
    int N = S.length();
 
    System.out.println(minimumDeletion(S, N));
}
}
 
// This code is contributed by Kingash

Python3




# Python3 program for the above approach
import sys
 
# Function to find minimum number of
# character removals required to make
# frequency of all distinct characters the same
def minimumDeletion(s, n):
     
    # Stores the frequency
    # of each character
    countMap = {}
 
    # Traverse the string
    for i in s:
        countMap[i] = countMap.get(i, 0) + 1
 
    # Stores the frequency of each
    # charachter in sorted order
    countMultiset = []
 
    # Traverse the Map
    for it in countMap:
         
        # Insert the frequency in multiset
        countMultiset.append(countMap[it])
 
    # Stores the count of elements
    # required to be removed
    ans = sys.maxsize + 1
 
    i = 0
 
    # Stores the size of multiset
    m = len(countMultiset)
 
    # Traverse the multiset
    for j in sorted(countMultiset):
 
        # Update the ans
        ans = min(ans, n - (m - i) * j)
 
        # Increment i by 1
        i += 1
 
    # Return
    return ans
 
# Driver Code
if __name__ == '__main__':
     
    # Input
    S = "geeksforgeeks"
    N = len(S)
 
    print (minimumDeletion(S, N))
 
# This code is contributed by mohit kumar 29

C#




// C# program for the above approach
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System;
 
class GFG{
 
// Function to find minimum number of
// character removals required to make
// frequency of all distinct characters the same
static int minimumDeletion(string s, int n)
{
     
    // Stores the frequency
    // of each character
    Dictionary<char,
               int> countMap = new Dictionary<char,
                                              int>();
                                               
    // Traverse the string
    for(int i = 0; i < n; i++)
    {
        if (countMap.ContainsKey(s[i]) == true)
        {
            countMap[s[i]] += 1;
        }
        else
        {
            countMap[s[i]] = 1;
        }
    }
 
    // Stores the frequency of each
    // charachter in sorted order
    List<int> countMultiset = new List<int>();
    foreach(var values in countMap.Values)
    {
        countMultiset.Add(values);
    }
    countMultiset.Sort();
     
    // Stores the count of elements
    // required to be removed
    int ans = 100000000;
    int index = 0;
 
    // Stores the size of multiset
    int m = countMultiset.Count;
 
    // Traverse the multiset
    foreach(var j in countMultiset)
    {
         
        // Update the ans
        ans = Math.Min(ans, n - (m - index) * j);
         
        // Increment i by 1
        index++;
    }
     
    // Return
    return ans;
}
 
// Driver Code
public static void Main(String[] args)
{
     
    // Input
    string S = "geeksforgeeks";
    int N = S.Length;
 
    Console.WriteLine(minimumDeletion(S, N));
}
}
 
// This code is contributed by Stream_Cipher
Output: 
5

 

Time Complexity: O(N * log(N))
Auxiliary Space: O(1)

 

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