# [Google] Crazy Distance Between Strings

### Question

X and Y are strings formed by 0 or 1. Distance is define as:

``````D(X,Y) = Remove chars common at the start from both X & Y.
Then add the remaining lengths from both the strings.
``````

For e.g.

``````D(1111, 1000) = Only First alphabet is common. So the remaining string is 111 & 000. Therefore the result length("111") & length("000") = 3 + 3 = 6
``````

For e.g.

``````D(0101, 01100) = Only First two alphabets are common. So the remaining string is 01 & 100. Therefore the result length("01") & length("100") = 2 + 3 = 5
``````

Now given n input, say like

``````1111
1000
101
1100
``````

Find out the maximum crazy distance between 2 strings.

n is the number of input strings. m is the max length of any input string.

### Solution

This is the source.

Put the strings into a tree, where 0 means go left and 1 means go right. O(m*n) time.

Example:

``````            Root
1
0      1
0 1*   0  1
0*     0*    1*
``````

where the * means that an element ends there. Constructing this tree clearly takes O(n m).

Now we have to find the diameter of the tree (the longest path between two nodes).

How to find out longest path between 2 leaf nodes? Please refer to [Google] Diameter of a Binary Tree for explanation.

Total time complexity is O(m*n) time.

### Code

``````public int crazyDist(String[] input) {
TreeNode root = this.buildTree(input);
return this.findMaxPath(root).path - 1;
}

private Result findMaxPath(TreeNode node) {
if (node == null) {
return new Result(Integer.MIN_VALUE, 0);
}
Result lr = this.findMaxPath(node.left);
Result rr = this.findMaxPath(node.right);
int path = Math.max(lr.path, rr.path);
if (lr.depth != 0 && rr.depth != 0) {
// this check is important, because if any of the child node is
// NULL, this root will not be eligible for computing the path
path = Math.max(path, lr.depth + rr.depth + 1);
// Why? cuz diameter must go from one leaf, thru root, and reach
// another leaf. This is different from "Maximum Path Sum" leetcode
}
return new Result(path, 1 + Math.max(lr.depth, rr.depth));
}

private TreeNode buildTree(String[] input) {
TreeNode root = new TreeNode(123);
// share a common root. this root is deducted from the final calculation
for (String str : input) {
// insert str under the root
TreeNode p = root;
for (char c : str.toCharArray()) {
if (c == '0') {
if (p.left == null) {
p.left = new TreeNode(124);
// if 0, go to left; otherwise go to right
// thus value of TreeNodes does not really matter
}
p = p.left;
} else {
if (p.right == null) {
p.right = new TreeNode(125);
}
p = p.right;
}
}
}
return root;
}

class Result {
int path;
int depth;

public Result(int a, int b) {
path = a;
depth = b;
}
}
``````