Third largest element in an array of distinct elements

Given an array of n integers, find the third largest element. All the elements in the array are distinct integers.
Example :

Input: arr[] = {1, 14, 2, 16, 10, 20}
Output: The third Largest element is 14

Explanation: Largest element is 20, second largest element is 16 
and third largest element is 14

Input: arr[] = {19, -10, 20, 14, 2, 16, 10}
Output: The third Largest element is 16

Explanation: Largest element is 20, second largest element is 19 
and third largest element is 16

Naive Approach: The task is to first find the largest element, followed by the second-largest element and then excluding them both find the third-largest element. The basic idea is to iterate the array twice and mark the maximum and second maximum element and then excluding them both find the third maximum element, i.e the maximum element excluding the maximum and second maximum.

Efficient Approach: The problem deals with finding the third largest element in the array in a single traversal. The problem can be cracked by taking help of a similar problem- finding the second maximum element. So the idea is to traverse the array from start to end and to keep track of the three largest elements up to that index (stored in variables). So after traversing the whole array, the variables would have stored the indices (or value) of the three largest elements of the array.

  1. Find the smallest and second smallest element in an array
  2. k largest(or smallest) elements in an array
  3. K’th Smallest/Largest Element in Unsorted Array | Set 3 (Worst Case Linear Time)

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