Thursday, August 21, 2014

Leetcode: Recover Binary Search Tree

Two elements of a binary search tree (BST) are swapped by mistake.
Recover the tree without changing its structure.
A solution using O(n) space is pretty straight forward. Could you devise a constant space solution?

Understand the problem:
As described in the problem, two elements of a BST are swapped by mistake. Recover the tree without changing its structure. There are two requirements in the problem. The first is we cannot change the structure of the tree. The second is do it in-place.

If a binary tree is a BST, its inorder traversal should be in ascending order. We may use this property to solve this problem. Consider the following case:
For the inorder traversal list 123456, if 2 and 6 are swapped, the list becomes
163452. So when we scan the list, our goal is to mark the two swapped numbers and swap them back. So we can use two pointers, p and q. We compare the current value with the previous one, so when we see the first descending value, which is 3, the p pointer points to the previous node before 3, which is 6. When the next time we see the descending order again, which is 2, we use q pointer points to 2. Then we can swap the two numbers. 

Do we consider all the case? Actually there is still a case we did not consider. For the two numbers in adjacent, e.g. 123456, where 34 are swapped, so now it is 124356. The first time it encounters a descending order is at 3, where we point p to 4, the one before 3, then there is no other descending later. So where is q? So we should point q to this current position. 

Code (Java): 
 * Definition for binary tree
 * public class TreeNode {
 *     int val;
 *     TreeNode left;
 *     TreeNode right;
 *     TreeNode(int x) { val = x; }
 * }
public class Solution {
    TreeNode p,q;
    TreeNode prev = null;
    public void recoverTree(TreeNode root) {
        int temp = p.val;
        p.val = q.val;
        q.val = temp;
    private void inOrderTraversal(TreeNode root) {
        if (root == null) return;
        if (prev != null && root.val < prev.val) {
            if (p == null) {
                p = prev;
                q = root;
            } else {
                q = root;
        prev = root;

The problem looks tricky at the first glance. But at least you know the inorder traversal in ascending order for BST, the problem will become doable. The crux of this problem is to consider the two cases where swapped nodes are adjacent or not, and use two pointers pointing to the two nodes.   

No comments:

Post a Comment