Hello there! Are you ready to solve another engaging problem today? We have a practical task that will enhance your problem-solving skills. It involves critical aspects of programming — dealing with arrays and using techniques such as sorting and the two-pointer method. So, let's jump in!
Our task is as follows. Suppose you have two equally long arrays, A
and B
, with a length varying from 1 to 1000, with each element being a unique positive integer ranging from $1$ up to $10^6$. Your challenge is to create a JavaScript function that performs the following steps:
B[i]
in array B
, double its value to get 2 * B[i]
.2 * B[i]
in array B
. Let's call this closest number B[j]
.i
in array B
, get the value at index j
in array A
, i.e., A[j]
.A[j]
corresponding to the closest number found in B.To illustrate this, let's consider an example. We have:
JavaScript1const A = [10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110]; 2const B = [4, 12, 3, 9, 6, 1, 5, 8, 37, 25, 100];
After running your function, the resulting array should look like this:
JavaScript1const result = [80, 100, 50, 20, 20, 60, 40, 20, 110, 90, 110];
Let's walk through the first few steps:
The first item in B
is 4 at index=0. Double this number is 8. The closest number to 8
in array B
is 8, which is at index=7. The number at the same index in array A
is 80, so we add 80
to our new array.
The second item in B
is 12 at index=1. Double this number is 24. The closest number to 24
in B
is 25, which is at index=9. The corresponding index in A
has the number 100. So, we add 100
to our new array.
The third item in B
is 3 at index=2. Double this number is 6. The closest number to 6
in B
is 6, which is at index=4. The corresponding index in A
has the number 50. So, we add 50
to our new array.
We continue this process for the rest of the elements in B
.
Let's embark on our solution-building journey by constructing a sorted array for array B
. This array will include pairs of values (val
) and their corresponding indices (idx
) from array B
. Here, val
represents the element in B
, while idx
denotes the index at which val
is found in array B
.
This sorted array will be similar to an associative array, storing 'value-index' pairs. It not only organizes the data for efficient retrieval but also makes it easier for us to traverse the array. Here's the introductory part of our JavaScript function, including the complete sorted array:
JavaScript1function findAndReplace(A, B) { 2 let B_sorted = []; 3 for (let i = 0; i < B.length; i++) { 4 B_sorted.push({ value: B[i], index: i }); 5 } 6 B_sorted.sort((a, b) => a.value - b.value);
In the above code, we generate an array of objects comprising the values from B
and their respective indices using a simple loop. Then, the sort
function arranges these pairs in ascending order of their values.
Now that our sorted array (or associative array) is ready, we initiate the right pointer, j
, and the result array, res
. The former assists in ensuring our search remains within the boundaries of B_sorted
, while the latter will be our final output containing the replaced elements from array A
. We'll update res
as we progress through the solution.
JavaScript1function findAndReplace(A, B) { 2 let B_sorted = []; 3 for (let i = 0; i < B.length; i++) { 4 B_sorted.push({ value: B[i], index: i }); 5 } 6 B_sorted.sort((a, b) => a.value - b.value); 7 8 let j = 0; // Initialize right pointer 9 let res = new Array(A.length); // Initialize the result array
The primary logic of the problem lies in this step. We iterate over each item in B_sorted
using its index i
. For every item, we calculate the target, which is double the value of the element at the current index in B_sorted
. We adjust the position of the right pointer, j
, until it points to the closest number that is less than the target ($2 \cdot B\_sorted[i].value$). The operation continues as long as j
is within the bound for B_sorted
and the next number in the array is smaller than the target.
Once we've identified a number greater than or equal to the target, we compare it with the previous number to see which one is closer to the target. If the next number is closer, we advance j
by one step.
JavaScript1 for (let i = 0; i < B.length; i++) { 2 let target = 2 * B_sorted[i].value; // The target is twice the current number in the sorted B 3 while (j < B.length - 1 && B_sorted[j + 1].value < target) { 4 j++; // Move the right pointer to find a number smaller than or equal to the target 5 } 6 if (j < B.length - 1 && 7 Math.abs(B_sorted[j + 1].value - target) < Math.abs(target - B_sorted[j].value)) { 8 j++; // Move the right pointer one more step if the next number is closer to the target 9 }
In this final step, we employ the indices from B_sorted
to alter the appropriate elements in array A
. Based on the position of the right pointer j
, we replace the corresponding element in res
with the element in A
located at the same index.
JavaScript1 res[B_sorted[i].index] = A[B_sorted[j].index]; 2 // Collect the corresponding element from A at the same index as the closest number in B_sorted 3 } 4 5 return res; 6} 7 8const A = [10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110]; 9const B = [4, 12, 3, 9, 6, 1, 5, 8, 37, 25, 100]; 10const result = findAndReplace(A, B); 11console.log(result);
And there you have it! You've successfully crafted a JavaScript function capable of producing the required output. This function iteratively replaces each element in array A
according to the defined logic and returns the modified array.
The fully combined code for this solution is found below. It effectively finds and replaces elements in the array A
based on the closest doubled values in the array B
:
JavaScript1function findAndReplace(A, B) { 2 let B_sorted = []; 3 for (let i = 0; i < B.length; i++) { 4 B_sorted.push({ value: B[i], index: i }); 5 } 6 B_sorted.sort((a, b) => a.value - b.value); 7 8 let j = 0; // Initialize right pointer 9 let res = new Array(A.length); // Initialize the result array 10 11 for (let i = 0; i < B.length; i++) { 12 let target = 2 * B_sorted[i].value; // The target is twice the current number in the sorted B 13 while (j < B.length - 1 && B_sorted[j + 1].value < target) { 14 j++; // Move the right pointer to find a number smaller than or equal to the target 15 } 16 if (j < B.length - 1 && 17 Math.abs(B_sorted[j + 1].value - target) < Math.abs(target - B_sorted[j].value)) { 18 j++; // Move the right pointer one more step if the next number is closer to the target 19 } 20 res[B_sorted[i].index] = A[B_sorted[j].index]; 21 // Collect the corresponding element from A at the same index as the closest number in B_sorted 22 } 23 24 return res; 25} 26 27const A = [10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110]; 28const B = [4, 12, 3, 9, 6, 1, 5, 8, 37, 25, 100]; 29const result = findAndReplace(A, B); 30console.log(result);
It's vital to have an understanding of the computational complexity of our Two-Pointer approach and why it's effective for this problem.
Time Complexity: The main steps of our solution involve sorting the array B
and traversing it with two pointers. Sorting an array of n
elements has a time complexity of O(n log n)
. The two-pointer traversal of the sorted array adds an O(n)
time complexity. Thus, the overall time complexity of our solution is O(n log n)
for the sorting operation, which dominates the linear time traversal.
Space Complexity: Apart from the input data, our solution needs space for B_sorted
and res
, both of which are arrays having the same length as the input. Therefore, our solution has a linear space complexity of O(n)
, where n
is the length of the input arrays.
Great job! You've successfully tackled a high-level task that involved manipulating arrays and implementing advanced techniques such as sorting and the two-pointer method. Through this exercise, you've honed your JavaScript coding skills further and demonstrated your ability to solve a complex, real-world challenge.
Now it's your turn to master these techniques. We encourage you to practice solving similar challenges using the skills you've learned from this lesson. The more you practice, the better your problem-solving skills will become. So, get started and enjoy your journey in coding!