# Python Program for nth Catalan Number

Catalan numbers are a sequence of natural numbers that occurs in many interesting counting problems like following.

1) Count the number of expressions containing n pairs of parentheses which are correctly matched. For n = 3, possible expressions are ((())), ()(()), ()()(), (())(), (()()).

2) Count the number of possible Binary Search Trees with n keys (See this)
See this for more applications.

The first few Catalan numbers for n = 0, 1, 2, 3, … are 1, 1, 2, 5, 14, 42, 132, 429, 1430, 4862, …

## Recommended: Please solve it on “PRACTICE ” first, before moving on to the solution.

Recursive Solution
Catalan numbers satisfy the following recursive formula.

Following is the implementation of above recursive formula.

## Python

 # A recursive function to find nth catalan number def catalan(n):     # Base Case     if n <= 1 :         return 1         # Catalan(n) is the sum of catalan(i)*catalan(n-i-1)     res = 0      for i in range(n):         res += catalan(i) * catalan(n-i-1)        return res    # Driver Program to test above function for i in range(10):     print catalan(i), # This code is contributed by Nikhil Kumar Singh (nickzuck_007)

Output:

1 1 2 5 14 42 132 429 1430 4862

Dynamic Programming Solution
We can observe that the above recursive implementation does a lot of repeated work (we can the same by drawing recursion tree). Since there are overlapping subproblems, we can use dynamic programming for this. Following is a Dynamic programming based implementation in C++.

## Python

 # A dynamic programming based function to find nth # Catalan number def catalan(n):     if (n == 0 or n == 1):         return 1        # Table to store results of subproblems     catalan = [0 for i in range(n + 1)]        # Initialize first two values in table     catalan[0] = 1     catalan[1] = 1        # Fill entries in catalan[] using recursive formula     for i in range(2, n + 1):         catalan[i] = 0         for j in range(i):             catalan[i] = catalan[i] + catalan[j] * catalan[i-j-1]        # Return last entry     return catalan[n]    # Driver code for i in range (10):     print (catalan(i)) # This code is contributed by Aditi Sharma

Output:

1
1
2
5
14
42
132
429
1430
4862

Please refer complete article on Program for nth Catalan Number for more details!

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