Recursion

Solving 0/1 Knapsack problem using Recursion

Introduction A knapsack is a bag with straps, usually carried by soldiers to help them take their valuables or things which they might need during their journey. The 0/1 knapsack problem is a very famous interview problem. The problem statement is as follows: Given a set of items, each of which is associated with some weight and value. Find the subset of items which can be carried in a knapsack of capacity W (where W is the weight). It is required that the cumulative value of the items in the knapsack is maximum value possible. In simple words, it asks you to pick certain items from the...
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Solving Sudoku using Backtracking

Introduction This post is the continuation of the backtracking series. Sudoku can be solved using multiple algorithms based on Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms by doing exhaustive searches in the solution space. However, here we are focusing on solving Sudoku using backtracking algorithm. For people who are unaware of the Sudoku puzzle, please check out Wikipedia for details. For a brief description read below: A Sudoku puzzle is a 9 * 9 grid. Few cells in the grid contain random numbers between 1 and 9 (both inclusive) A fully solved Sudoku must contain numbers through 1-...
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Print all paths of robot through the grid

Introduction This is a supplement to the previous post where we were interested in just one path of a robot from top left corner to the bottom right corner. In this post we will print all paths of robot moving through a given grid containing few blocked cells. The algorithm for this solution remains the same, we just need few tricks to get that right. Here, I will explain the idea behind printing all paths of robot through the grid. Approach Here, let us discuss what different we need to do to print all the paths. As we can recall from the previous post, the moment we reached the destina...
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Find Path through grid – constrained motion

Introduction This is another addition to the backtracking series of problems. The problem is asked in many interviews in many different forms. Here are few of them: Given a grid where few of the cells are blocked. You have a robot placed at the top left corner of the grid. Find path through grid such that the robot starts from the top left corner and moves to the bottom right corner. Another form just asks for all possible paths from one cell to another into a grid. Of course there are constraints on the movement of the robot, else you would end up going in circles and the paths wo...
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Solution to find Interleaving of Strings

Introduction This post is an enhancement over one of the previous posts where the task was to find if a given string C is an interleaving of strings A and B. To know more about the problem description, please visit the previous post Solution The previous solution is a iterative solution which requires lot of space. Here we will discuss a recursive solution. Hopefully with small code foot print. Before we jump into the code, let us understand the idea behind the solution. Here are the example Strings A, B and C A -> abcd B -> ade C -> abadcde The recursive algorithm...
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Maximum path sum in a triangle

Problem Statement Finding the maximum path sum in a triangle is a very common programming problem. You are given a triangle of numbers which can be represented as below. You are allowed to start from the top of the triangle and move to either of the two number below it. As we move down from the top to the bottom in multiple ways, we keep adding the numbers for each node we visit. The goal is to maximize the sum . A more formal problem statement can be found on the Project Euler website. How to approach the problem At any point you have two choices you can go to the number below the current ...
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Solving the N Queen Problem

Introduction The N Queen Problem is one of the best problem used to teach backtracking and of course recursion. Backtracking is a general algorithm which finds all complete solutions to a problem by building over partial solutions. In this process, the problem might reach to a partial solution which may not result into a complete solution. Such partial solutions are effectively rejected by the backtracking algorithm. To know more about backtracking please visit the Wikipedia article. The classic case of N Queen problem In this problem, you are given an empty chess board of dimensions N *...
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