C Programming Coding Randomized Algorithms

C Programming – K’th Smallest/Largest Element in Unsorted Array Expected Linear Time

Given an array and a number k where k is smaller than size of array, we need to find the k’th smallest element in the given array.

K’th Smallest/Largest Element in Unsorted Array | Set 1

Given an array and a number k where k is smaller than size of array, we need to find the k’th smallest element in the given array. It is given that ll array elements are distinct.

Examples:

Input: arr[] = {7, 10, 4, 3, 20, 15}
       k = 3
Output: 7

Input: arr[] = {7, 10, 4, 3, 20, 15}
       k = 4
Output: 10

In this post method 4 is discussed which is mainly an extension of method 3 (QuickSelect) discussed in the previous post. The idea is to randomly pick a pivot element. To implement randomized partition, we use a random function, rand() to generate index between l and r, swap the element at randomly generated index with the last element, and finally call the standard partition process which uses last element as pivot.

Following is implementation of above Randomized QuickSelect.

C Program
// C++ implementation of randomized quickSelect
#include<iostream>
#include<climits>
#include<cstdlib>
using namespace std;
 
int randomPartition(int arr[], int l, int r);
 
// This function returns k'th smallest element in arr[l..r] using
// QuickSort based method. ASSUMPTION: ELEMENTS IN ARR[] ARE DISTINCT
int kthSmallest(int arr[], int l, int r, int k)
{
    // If k is smaller than number of elements in array
    if (k > 0 && k <= r - l + 1)
    {
        // Partition the array around a random element and
        // get position of pivot element in sorted array
        int pos = randomPartition(arr, l, r);
 
        // If position is same as k
        if (pos-l == k-1)
            return arr[pos];
        if (pos-l > k-1)  // If position is more, recur for left subarray
            return kthSmallest(arr, l, pos-1, k);
 
        // Else recur for right subarray
        return kthSmallest(arr, pos+1, r, k-pos+l-1);
    }
 
    // If k is more than number of elements in array
    return INT_MAX;
}
 
void swap(int *a, int *b)
{
    int temp = *a;
    *a = *b;
    *b = temp;
}
 
// Standard partition process of QuickSort().  It considers the last
// element as pivot and moves all smaller element to left of it and
// greater elements to right. This function is used by randomPartition()
int partition(int arr[], int l, int r)
{
    int x = arr[r], i = l;
    for (int j = l; j <= r - 1; j++)
    {
        if (arr[j] <= x)
        {
            swap(&arr[i], &arr[j]);
            i++;
        }
    }
    swap(&arr[i], &arr[r]);
    return i;
}
 
// Picks a random pivot element between l and r and partitions
// arr[l..r] arount the randomly picked element using partition()
int randomPartition(int arr[], int l, int r)
{
    int n = r-l+1;
    int pivot = rand() % n;
    swap(&arr[l + pivot], &arr[r]);
    return partition(arr, l, r);
}
 
// Driver program to test above methods
int main()
{
    int arr[] = {12, 3, 5, 7, 4, 19, 26};
    int n = sizeof(arr)/sizeof(arr[0]), k = 3;
    cout << "K'th smallest element is " << kthSmallest(arr, 0, n-1, k);
    return 0;
}

Output:

K'th smallest element is 5

Time Complexity:
The worst case time complexity of the above solution is still O(n2). In worst case, the randomized function may always pick a corner element. The expected time complexity of above randomized QuickSelect is Θ(n), see CLRS book or MIT video lecture for proof. The assumption in the analysis is, random number generator is equally likely to generate any number in the input range.

READ  C Programming - Find the largest multiple of 3 Using Queue

About the author

Venkatesan Prabu

Venkatesan Prabu

Wikitechy Founder, Author, International Speaker, and Job Consultant. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I'm a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events.

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