# Minimum number of prefix reversals to sort permutation of first N numbers

• Difficulty Level : Hard
• Last Updated : 01 Sep, 2021

Given N numbers that have a permutation of first N numbers. In a single operation, any prefix can be reversed. The task is to find the minimum number of such operations such that the numbers in the array are in increasing order.
Examples:

```Input : a[] = {3, 1, 2}
Output : 2
Step1: Reverse the complete array a, a[] = {2, 1, 3}
Step2: Reverse the prefix(0-1) in s, a[] = {1, 2, 3}

Input : a[] = {1, 2, 4, 3}
Output : 3
Step1: Reverse the complete array a, a[] = {3, 4, 2, 1}
Step2: Reverse the prefix(0-1) in s, a[] = {4, 3, 2, 1}
Step3: Reverse the complete array a, a[] = {1, 2, 3, 4} ```

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The approach to solve this problem is to use BFS

• Encode the given numbers in a string. Sort the array and encode it into a string destination.
• Then do a BFS from the initial permutation. Each time, check all permutations induced by reversing a prefix of current permutation.
• If it is not visited, put it into the queue with the count of reversals done.
• When the permutation of the encoded string is same as the destination string, return the numbers of reversals required to reach here.
• That is, all permutations of strings are done and the minimal of those is returned as the answer.

Below is the implementation of the above approach:

## C++

 `// C++ program to find``// minimum number of prefix reversals``// to sort permutation of first N numbers``#include ``using` `namespace` `std;` `// Function to return the minimum prefix reversals``int` `minimumPrefixReversals(``int` `a[], ``int` `n)``{``    ``string start = ``""``;``    ``string destination = ``""``, t, r;``    ``for` `(``int` `i = 0; i < n; i++) {``        ``// converts the number to a character``        ``// and add  to string``        ``start += to_string(a[i]);``    ``}``    ``sort(a, a + n);``    ``for` `(``int` `i = 0; i < n; i++) {``        ``destination += to_string(a[i]);``    ``}` `    ``// Queue to store the pairs``    ``// of string and number of reversals``    ``queue > qu;``    ``pair p;` `    ``// Initially push the original string``    ``qu.push(make_pair(start, 0));` `    ``// if original string is the destination string``    ``if` `(start == destination) {``        ``return` `0;``    ``}` `    ``// iterate till queue is empty``    ``while` `(!qu.empty()) {` `        ``// pair at the top``        ``p = qu.front();` `        ``// string``        ``t = p.first;` `        ``// pop the top-most element``        ``qu.pop();` `        ``// perform prefix reversals for all index and push``        ``// in the queue and check for the minimal``        ``for` `(``int` `j = 2; j <= n; j++) {``            ``r = t;` `            ``// reverse the string till prefix j``            ``reverse(r.begin(), r.begin() + j);` `            ``// if after reversing the string from first i index``            ``// it is the destination``            ``if` `(r == destination) {``                ``return` `p.second + 1;``            ``}` `            ``// push the number of reversals for string r``            ``qu.push(make_pair(r, p.second + 1));``        ``}``    ``}``}` `// Driver Code``int` `main()``{` `    ``int` `a[] = { 1, 2, 4, 3 };``    ``int` `n = ``sizeof``(a) / ``sizeof``(a);` `    ``// Calling function``    ``cout << minimumPrefixReversals(a, n);` `    ``return` `0;``}`

## Java

 `// Java program to find minimum``// number of prefix reversals to``// sort permutation of first N numbers``import` `java.util.*;` `public` `class` `Main``{``    ` `    ``// function to find minimum prefix reversal through BFS``    ``public` `static` `int` `minimumPrefixReversals(``int``[] a)``    ``{``        ``// size of array``        ``int` `n = a.length;``        ` `        ``// string for initial and goal nodes``        ``String start = ``""``, destination = ``""``;``        ` `        ``// string for manipulation in while loop``        ``String original = ``""``,modified = ``""``;``        ` `        ``// node to store temporary values from front of queue``        ``Node temp = ``null``;``        ` `        ``// create the starting string``        ``for` `(``int` `i = ``0``; i < n; i++)``        ``start += a[i];``        ` `        ``// sort the array and prepare final destination string``        ``Arrays.sort(a);``        ``for` `(``int` `i = ``0``; i < n; i++)``            ``destination += a[i];``        ` `        ``// this queue will store all the BFS siblings``        ``Queue q = ``new` `LinkedList<>();``        ` `        ``// place the starting node in queue``        ``q.add(``new` `Node(start, ``0``));``        ` `        ``//base case:- if array is already sorted``        ``if` `(start == destination)``            ``return` `0``;``        ` `        ` `        ``// loop until the size of queue is empty``        ``while` `(q.size() != ``0``)``        ``{``            ``// put front node of queue in temporary variable``            ``temp = q.poll();``            ` `            ``// store the original string at this step``            ``original = temp.string;``            ` `            ``for` `(``int` `j = ``2``; j <= n; j++)``            ``{``                ``// modified will be used to generate all``                ``// manipulation of original string``                ``// like if original = 1342``                ``// modified = 3142 , 4312 , 2431``                ` `                ``modified = original;``                ` `                ``// generate the permutation by reversing``                ``modified = reverse (modified , j);``                ` `                ``if` `(modified.equals(destination))``                ``{``                    ``// if string match then return``                    ``// the height of the current node``                    ``return` `temp.steps + ``1``;``                ``}``                ` `                ``// else put this node into queue``                ``q.add(``new` `Node(modified,temp.steps + ``1``));``            ``}``            ` `        ``}``        ` `    ``// if no case match then default value``    ``return` `Integer.MIN_VALUE;``    ``}``    ` `    ``// function to reverse the string upto an index``    ``public` `static` `String reverse (String s , ``int` `index)``    ``{``        ``char` `temp []= s.toCharArray();``        ``int` `i = ``0``;``        ``while` `(i < index)``        ``{``            ``char` `c = temp[i];``            ``temp[i] = temp[index-``1``];``            ``temp[index-``1``] = c;``            ``i++;index--;``        ``}``        ``return` `String.valueOf(temp);``    ``}` `    ``// Driver code``    ``public` `static` `void` `main(String []args)``    ``{``        ``int` `a[] = ``new` `int` `[]{``1``,``2``,``4``,``3``};``        ``System.out.println(minimumPrefixReversals(a));``    ``}``    ` `    ``// Node class to store a combined set of values``    ``static` `class` `Node``    ``{``        ``public` `String string ;``        ``public` `int` `steps;``        ` `        ``public` `Node(String string,``int` `steps)``        ``{``            ``this``.string = string;``            ``this``.steps= steps;``        ``}``    ``}``}` `// This code is contributed by Sparsh Singhal`

## C#

 `// C# program to find minimum``// number of prefix reversals to``// sort permutation of first N numbers``using` `System;``using` `System.Collections.Generic;            ` `class` `GFG``{``    ``// Node class to store a combined set of values``    ``public` `class` `Node``    ``{``        ``public` `String str;``        ``public` `int` `steps;``        ` `        ``public` `Node(String str,``int` `steps)``        ``{``            ``this``.str = str;``            ``this``.steps= steps;``        ``}``    ``}``    ` `    ``// function to find minimum prefix reversal through BFS``    ``public` `static` `int` `minimumPrefixReversals(``int``[] a)``    ``{``        ``// size of array``        ``int` `n = a.Length;``        ` `        ``// string for initial and goal nodes``        ``String start = ``""``, destination = ``""``;``        ` `        ``// string for manipulation in while loop``        ``String original = ``""``, modified = ``""``;``        ` `        ``// node to store temporary values``        ``// from front of queue``        ``Node temp = ``null``;``        ` `        ``// create the starting string``        ``for` `(``int` `i = 0; i < n; i++)``        ``start += a[i];``        ` `        ``// sort the array and prepare``        ``// final destination string``        ``Array.Sort(a);``        ``for` `(``int` `i = 0; i < n; i++)``            ``destination += a[i];``        ` `        ``// this queue will store all the BFS siblings``        ``Queue q = ``new` `Queue();``        ` `        ``// place the starting node in queue``        ``q.Enqueue(``new` `Node(start, 0));``        ` `        ``//base case:- if array is already sorted``        ``if` `(start == destination)``            ``return` `0;``        ` `        ` `        ``// loop until the size of queue is empty``        ``while` `(q.Count != 0)``        ``{``            ``// put front node of queue in temporary variable``            ``temp = q.Dequeue();``            ` `            ``// store the original string at this step``            ``original = temp.str;``            ` `            ``for` `(``int` `j = 2; j <= n; j++)``            ``{``                ``// modified will be used to generate all``                ``// manipulation of original string``                ``// like if original = 1342``                ``// modified = 3142 , 4312 , 2431``                ` `                ``modified = original;``                ` `                ``// generate the permutation by reversing``                ``modified = reverse (modified , j);``                ` `                ``if` `(modified.Equals(destination))``                ``{``                    ``// if string match then return``                    ``// the height of the current node``                    ``return` `temp.steps + 1;``                ``}``                ` `                ``// else put this node into queue``                ``q.Enqueue(``new` `Node(modified, temp.steps + 1));``            ``}``        ``}``        ` `        ``// if no case match then default value``        ``return` `int``.MinValue;``    ``}``    ` `    ``// function to reverse the string upto an index``    ``public` `static` `String reverse (String s, ``int` `index)``    ``{``        ``char` `[]temp = s.ToCharArray();``        ``int` `i = 0;``        ``while` `(i < index)``        ``{``            ``char` `c = temp[i];``            ``temp[i] = temp[index - 1];``            ``temp[index - 1] = c;``            ``i++;index--;``        ``}``        ``return` `String.Join(``""``, temp);``    ``}` `    ``// Driver code``    ``public` `static` `void` `Main(String []args)``    ``{``        ``int` `[]a = ``new` `int` `[]{1, 2, 4, 3};``        ``Console.WriteLine(minimumPrefixReversals(a));``    ``}``}` `// This code is contributed by 29AjayKumar`

## Javascript

 ``
Output:
`3`

Time Complexity: O(N! * N2
Auxiliary Space: O(N!)

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