Given a number line from -infinity to +infinity. You start at 0 and can go either to the left or to the right. The condition is that in i’th move, you take i steps.
a) Find if you can reach a given number x
b) Find the most optimal way to reach a given number x, if we can indeed reach it. For example, 3 can be reached in 2 steps, (0, 1) (1, 3) and 4 can be reached in 3 steps (0, -1), (-1, 1) (1, 4).
Source: Flipkart Interview Question
The important thing to note is we can reach any destination as it is always possible to make a move of length 1. At any step i, we can move forward i, then backward i + 1.
Below is a recursive solution suggested by Arpit Thapar here.
1) Since distance of + 5 and – 5 from 0 is same, hence we find answer for absolute value of destination.
2) We use a recursive function which takes as arguments:
i) Source Vertex
ii) Value of last step taken
3) If at any point source vertex = destination; return number of steps.
4) Otherwise we can go in both of the possible directions. Take the minimum of steps in both cases.
From any vertex we can go to :
(current source + last step +1) and
(current source – last step -1)
5) If at any point, absolute value of our position exceeds the absolute value of our destination then it is intuitive that the shortest path is not possible from here. Hence we make the value of steps INT_MAX, so that when i take the minimum of both possibilities, this one gets eliminated.
If we don’t use this last step, the program enters into an INFINITE recursion and gives RUN TIME ERROR.
Below is the implementation of above idea. Note that the solution only counts steps.
No. of steps required to reach 11 is 5
Thanks to Arpit Thapar for providing above algorithm and implementation.
Optimized Solution : Find minimum moves to reach target on an infinite line
This article is contributed by Abhay. Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.
Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. Get hold of all the important DSA concepts with the DSA Self Paced Course at a student-friendly price and become industry ready.
- Find the minimum cost to reach destination using a train
- Minimum Initial Points to Reach Destination
- Minimum cells required to reach destination with jumps equal to cell values
- Minimum possible modifications in the matrix to reach destination
- Count number of ways to reach destination in a Maze
- Count number of ways to reach destination in a Maze using BFS
- Count total ways to reach destination from source in an undirected Graph
- Number of decisions to reach destination
- Minimum steps to reach end of array under constraints
- Minimum steps to reach target by a Knight | Set 1
- Minimum steps to reach target by a Knight | Set 2
- Minimum steps to reach any of the boundary edges of a matrix | Set-2
- Minimum steps to reach end from start by performing multiplication and mod operations with array elements
- Find minimum steps required to reach the end of a matrix | Set - 1
- Minimum steps to reach any of the boundary edges of a matrix | Set 1
- Find minimum steps required to reach the end of a matrix | Set 2
- Minimum steps required to reach the end of a matrix | Set 2
- Find minimum number of steps to reach the end of String
- Minimize the number of steps required to reach the end of the array
- Minimize the number of steps required to reach the end of the array | Set 2