Python Program for Find a triplet from three linked lists with sum equal to a given number
Given three linked lists, say a, b and c, find one node from each list such that the sum of the values of the nodes is equal to a given number.
For example, if the three linked lists are 12->6->29, 23->5->8, and 90->20->59, and the given number is 101, the output should be triple “6 5 90”.
In the following solutions, size of all three linked lists is assumed same for simplicity of analysis. The following solutions work for linked lists of different sizes also.
A simple method to solve this problem is to run three nested loops. The outermost loop picks an element from list a, the middle loop picks an element from b and the innermost loop picks from c. The innermost loop also checks whether the sum of values of current nodes of a, b and c is equal to given number. The time complexity of this method will be O(n^3).
Sorting can be used to reduce the time complexity to O(n*n). Following are the detailed steps.
1) Sort list b in ascending order, and list c in descending order.
2) After the b and c are sorted, one by one pick an element from list a and find the pair by traversing both b and c. See isSumSorted() in the following code. The idea is similar to Quadratic algorithm of 3 sum problem.
Following code implements step 2 only. The solution can be easily modified for unsorted lists by adding the merge sort code discussed here.
Triplet Found: 15 2 8
Time complexity: The linked lists b and c can be sorted in O(nLogn) time using Merge Sort (See this). The step 2 takes O(n*n) time. So the overall time complexity is O(nlogn) + O(nlogn) + O(n*n) = O(n*n).
In this approach, the linked lists b and c are sorted first, so their original order will be lost. If we want to retain the original order of b and c, we can create copy of b and c.
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