Peter
Peter Campbell Smith

Quads and directory enquiries

Weekly challenge 203 — 6 February 2023

Week 203 - 6 Feb 2023

Task 1

Task — Special quads

We are given an array of integers and asked to write a script to find the special quadruplets within the array. Special Quadruplets satisfy the following 2 rules:

  • nums[a] + nums[b] + nums[c] == nums[d]
  • a < b < c < d

Analysis

The obvious way to do this is with 4 nested loops:

$last = scalar(@nums) - 1;
for $a (0 .. $last - 3) {
   for $b ($a + 1 .. $last - 2) {
      for $c ($b + 1 .. $last - 1) {
         for $d ($c + 1 .. $last) {
            if ($nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] == 
              $nums[$d]) {
                     ... we have an answer

The specification does not state whether the integers in the array are positive integers, but the examples contain only positive numbers. If negative numbers are to be allowed then I see no obvious way of optimising the above logic, but if we can assume that only positive integers are allowed then the task can be considerably speeded by:

- finding $max = the largest member of @nums
- abandoning the $b and $c searches if the sum so far exceeds $max:

for $a (0 .. $last - 3) {
  for $b ($a + 1 .. $last - 2) {
    next if $nums[$a] + $nums[$b] > $max;
    for $c ($b + 1 .. $last - 1) {
      next if $nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] > $max;
        for $d ($c + 1 .. $last) {
          if ($nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] == 
            $nums[$d]) {
                 ... we have an answer

I tried this with @nums populated with 150 random numbers in the range 0 .. 50000 and the version without the $max optimisation took 7.81 seconds to find 65 quadruplets, and the optimised version took only 1.62 seconds.

You could possibly do even better by updating $max in the $a loop to be the largest remaining number (ie to the right of $a), but that will take time and I doubt it would significantly speed things up.

Try it 

Example: 1, 2, 3, 6

Script


#!/usr/bin/perl

# Peter Campbell Smith - 2023-02-06

use v5.28;
use utf8;
use warnings;
use Time::HiRes qw(time);

# Task: You are given an array of integers. Write a script to find out the total special quadruplets for the
# given array. Special Quadruplets are such that satisfies the following 2 rules: 
# 1) nums[a] + nums[b] + nums[c] == nums[d]
# 2) a < b < c < d

# Blog: https://pjcs-pwc.blogspot.com/2023/02/quads-and-directory-enquiries.html

my (@tests, $test, @nums, $a, $b, $c, $d, $last, $rubric, $count, @big, $secs, $max);

@tests = ([1, 2, 3, 6], [1, 1, 1, 3, 5], [3, 3, 6, 4, 5], [3, -2, -5, -4]);

# # create a longer test
# for $a (0 .. 150) {
    # $big[$a] = int(rand(50_000));
# }
# push @tests, \@big;

# loop over tests
say qq[----- simple version -----\n];
for $test (@tests) {
    
    # initialise
    @nums = @$test;
    say qq[Input:  \@nums = (] . join(', ', @nums) . ')';
    
    $last = scalar(@nums) - 1;
    $rubric = '';
    $count = 0;
    $secs = time;
    
    # nested loops over a, b, c and d
    for $a (0 .. $last - 3) {
        for $b ($a + 1 .. $last - 2) {
            for $c ($b + 1 .. $last - 1) {
                for $d ($c + 1 .. $last) {
                    if ($nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] == $nums[$d]) {
                        $count ++;
                        $rubric .= qq[\$nums[$a] + \$nums[$b] + \$nums[$c] == \$nums[$d] | $nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] == $nums[$d]\n];
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
    say qq[Output: $count (] . sprintf('time: %0.2f', time - $secs) . qq[ secs)\n\n$rubric];
}

# faster version - abandon each loop if the partial sum exceeds the maximum number in @nums
say qq[----- improved version -----/n];
for $test (@tests) {
    
    # initialise
    @nums = @$test;
    say qq[Input:  \@nums = (] . join(', ', @nums) . ')';
    
    $last = scalar(@nums) - 1;
    $rubric = '';
    $count = 0;
    $secs = time;
    
    # find the largest number
    $max = -1e10;
    for $a (@nums) {
        $max = $a if $a > $max;
    }
    
    # nested loops over a, b, c and d, but abandon the b and c loops if the partial sum exceeds $max
    for $a (0 .. $last - 3) {
        for $b ($a + 1 .. $last - 2) {
            next if $nums[$a] + $nums[$b] > $max;
            for $c ($b + 1 .. $last - 1) {
                next if $nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] > $max;
                for $d ($c + 1 .. $last) {
                    if ($nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] == $nums[$d]) {
                        $count ++;
                        $rubric .= qq[\$nums[$a] + \$nums[$b] + \$nums[$c] == \$nums[$d] | $nums[$a] + $nums[$b] + $nums[$c] == $nums[$d]\n];
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
    say qq[Output: $count (] . sprintf('time: %0.2f', time - $secs) . qq[ secs)\n\n$rubric];
}   

Output


----- simple version -----

Input:  @nums = (1, 2, 3, 6)
Output: 1 (time: 0.00 secs)

$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[2] == $nums[3] | 1 + 2 + 3 == 6

Input:  @nums = (1, 1, 1, 3, 5)
Output: 4 (time: 0.00 secs)

$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[2] == $nums[3] | 1 + 1 + 1 == 3
$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[3] == $nums[4] | 1 + 1 + 3 == 5
$nums[0] + $nums[2] + $nums[3] == $nums[4] | 1 + 1 + 3 == 5
$nums[1] + $nums[2] + $nums[3] == $nums[4] | 1 + 1 + 3 == 5

Input:  @nums = (3, 3, 6, 4, 5)
Output: 0 (time: 0.00 secs)


Input:  @nums = (3, -2, -5, -4)
Output: 1 (time: 0.00 secs)

$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[2] == $nums[3] | 3 + -2 + -5 == -4

----- improved version -----

Input:  @nums = (1, 2, 3, 6)
Output: 1 (time: 0.00 secs)

$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[2] == $nums[3] | 1 + 2 + 3 == 6

Input:  @nums = (1, 1, 1, 3, 5)
Output: 4 (time: 0.00 secs)

$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[2] == $nums[3] | 1 + 1 + 1 == 3
$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[3] == $nums[4] | 1 + 1 + 3 == 5
$nums[0] + $nums[2] + $nums[3] == $nums[4] | 1 + 1 + 3 == 5
$nums[1] + $nums[2] + $nums[3] == $nums[4] | 1 + 1 + 3 == 5

Input:  @nums = (3, 3, 6, 4, 5)
Output: 0 (time: 0.00 secs)


Input:  @nums = (3, -2, -5, -4)
Output: 1 (time: 0.00 secs)

$nums[0] + $nums[1] + $nums[2] == $nums[3] | 3 + -2 + -5 == -4

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