Queries to find total number of duplicate character in range L to R in the string S

Given a string S of size N consisting of lower case alphabets and an integer Q which represents the number of queries for S. Our task is to print the number of duplicate characters in the substring L to R for all the queries Q.

Note: 1 ≤N ≤ 106 and 1 ≤ Q≤ 106


Input :
S = “geeksforgeeks”, Q = 2
L = 1 R = 5
L = 4 R = 8
Output :
For the first query ‘e’ is the only duplicate character in S from range 1 to 5.
For the second query theres is no duplicate character in S.

Input :
S = “Geekyy”, Q = 1
L = 1 R = 6
Output :
For the first query ‘e’ and ‘y’ are duplicate characters in S from range 1 to 6.

Naive Approach:

The naive approach would be to maintain a frequency array of size 26, to store the count of each character. For each query, given a range [L, R] we will traverse substring S[L] to S[R] and keep counting the occurrence of each character. Now, if the frequency of any character is greater than 1 then we would add 1 to answer.

Efficient Approach:

To solve the above problem in an efficient way we will store the position of each character as it appears in the string in a dynamic array. For each given query we will iterate over all the 26 lower case alphabets. If the current letter is in the substring S[L: R] then the next element of the first element which is greater than or equal L to in the corresponding vector should exist and be less than or equal to R.

Diagram below shows how we store characters in the dynamic array:

Picture explaining the above approach

Below is the implementation of the above approach:





// CPP implementation to Find the total
// number of duplicate character in a
// range L to R for Q number of queries in a string S
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
// Vector of vector to store
// position of all characters
// as they appear in string
vector<vector<int> > v(26);
// Function to store position of each character
void calculate(string s)
    for (int i = 0; i < s.size(); i++) {
        // Inserting position of each
        // character as they appear
        v[s[i] - 'a'].push_back(i);
// Function to calculate duplicate
// characters for Q queries
void query(int L, int R)
    // Variable to count duplicates
    int duplicates = 0;
    // Iterate over all 26 characters
    for (int i = 0; i < 26; i++) {
        // Finding the first element which
        // is less than or equal to L
        auto first = lower_bound(v[i].begin(),
                                 v[i].end(), L - 1);
        // Check if first pointer exists
        // and is less than R
        if (first != v[i].end() && *first < R) {
            // Incrementing first pointer to check
            // if the next duplicate element exists
            // Check if the next element exists
            // and is less than R
            if (first != v[i].end() && *first < R)
    cout << duplicates << endl;
// Driver Code
int main()
    string s = "geeksforgeeks";
    int Q = 2;
    int l1 = 1, r1 = 5;
    int l2 = 4, r2 = 8;
    query(l1, r1);
    query(l2, r2);
    return 0;




Time complexity: O( Q * 26 * log N)

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