JLTi Code Jam

Sprint Completion Time

10th JLTi Code Jam – Dec 2017

At the start of a sprint we are given a list of deliverables. The first thing in our mind is whether the team can deliver it in time. Thus estimating time to complete a sprint is something very important.

The first thing we do is, split the deliverables into a number of tasks, and estimate the time required to complete each of them. A task takes 3 days to complete means it takes 3 days for one person to complete; it cannot be split further to get 3 persons doing it on a single day.

While some tasks can be completed independently, others might be dependent tasks – meaning we cannot start them unless the prerequisite tasks are completed first. For example, work on a report cannot start until we are done with the database design/creation. Testing or deployment cannot be done unless we develop the solution. Suppose, completing task 1, and task 2 takes 4, and 6 days respectively and task 2 is dependent on task 1 – in other words – task 1 is a prerequisite for task 2. In this case, completing task 2 would take 10 days.

Finally, we don’t have an infinite number of people available. And for simplicity, assume each person is capable of doing any of the tasks.

Input:

3

4 3 2 1 4 6

1 2 4

2 3 4

4 3

5 6

6 3

Output: 12

Explanation:

The first line says the team has 3 persons. Second line lists the number of days required to complete each of the tasks. Here we have 6 numbers. It says we have 6 tasks – task 1 takes 4 days to complete, task 2 takes 3 days to complete and so on. The last, task 6, takes 6 days.

The subsequent lines list the dependent tasks. 1 2 4 means task 1 depends on tasks 2 and 4. 6 3 means task 3 is a prerequisite for task 6. No line starts with 3 means task 3 does not depend on any other task.

Task 3 can be completed in 2 days by one person. These first 2 days the other two persons have to sit idle as all other tasks are dependent tasks. After 2 days, task 2, 4 or 6 – all of which were dependent on task 3 can start. Each of the 3 persons can start any of them. Once task 6 is done task 5 can start. Similarly, when task 2 is done task 1 can start. We will see completing all of them takes 12 days.

Input:

2

4 3 6 2

1 2

2 3

3 1

Output: Infeasible

Explanation: We have 2 persons to complete 4 tasks – completing them take 4, 3, 6 and 2 days respectively.  However, we see that task 1 is dependent on task 2, task 2 is dependent on task 3 and task 3 is dependent back on task 1. While we can finish task 4 easily, we cannot start any of the first 3 tasks. They are dependent on each other and thus creating a dependency cycle.

Task: Manually calculating the minimum time required to complete the tasks is time consuming and prone to error, especially when we need to estimate this very often. Why not write a small program that can do it for us?

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RC Election Result

9th JLTi Code Jam – Nov 2017

Whole JLT is buzzing with Recreational Committee (RC) aka Fun Ministry election 2018. It is more palpable in JLTi where a fierce competition is taking place between two candidates representing Millennial Party and Traditional Party. In this two-party system, Millennial Party is claiming that they know the magic as to how people can be entertained while the Traditional Party cannot stop laughing at them saying they are just inexperienced kids incapable of running the massive Fun Ministry.

This time, voting mechanism has changed. Instead of one person one vote that was how it worked till last year, one person’s vote weight would now equal to the number of years he/she is working at JLT. For example, I am working here for 4 years and hence my vote would count as 4. If somebody is working for just 1 year, his/her vote weight would be 1. For obvious reason, Millennial Party is unhappy about this new legislation that was recently passed by the incumbent Traditional Party. They call it unfair. But law is law.

Voting stopped on 10th Nov 2017 and counting votes would commence on 13th Nov 2017 followed by the announcement of result on the same day.

Being a member of the existing RC, my concern is little different. I am worried about a tie, and if that happens, what would be the next course of action.

Hence, I am checking the possibility of a tie. Manually doing so is quite problematic, if not impossible, for several hundred employees that we have in Singapore. Being the only software engineer in the existing RC, I am tasked to write a program that would take vote weight of each of the voters as input and output whether a tie is possible.

Input:

20 10 4 6

Output: Possible

ExplanationVote weight 20 and 10 – sounds familiar? Anyway, we see that if the first voter votes for one candidate and the rests for another – a tie is inevitable.

Input:

8 7 2 5 16

Output: Not Possible

Explanation: As you see the total vote weight for the above 5 voters is 38. For a tie to happen each candidate should get a vote count of 19. However, we can see, no way a vote count of 19 is possible here.

Input:

5, 6, 7, 3

Output: Not Possible

Explanation: We see, the total vote weight for the above 4 voters is 21. An odd number cannot be divided by two.

Task: Given a list of vote weight, one for each voter, we need to find whether a tie is possible. We are assuming that all voters in the input would vote for sure.

Solution – Choosing Oranges

38th Friday Fun Session – 3rd Nov 2017

Given a set of goodness scores of oranges and a window length, we need to find the highest scoring oranges within the window as we move it from left to the end.

This is the solution for JLTI Code Jam – Oct 2017.

Using priority queue

Suppose we have n scores and the window length is m. We can simply move the window from left to to right and take (consecutive) m scores within the window and each time compute the max of them, and output it, if it is already not outputted. Finding max from m scores would take O(m) and as we do it n times (n-m+1 times, to be precise), the complexity would be O(mn). However, it was expected that the complexity would be better than this.

Alternatively, we can use a max-heap, where we push each score as we encounter it. At the same time, we retrieve the top of the max-heap and if all is fine – output it. By if all is fine, we mean to say, we need to make sure that the orange has not been already outputted and that it belongs to the current window. At the same time, if the top item is out-dated, we can pop it, meaning take it out of the heap. Note that, max-heap is a data structure that retains the max element at the top.

Let us walk through an example

Let us take the first example as mentioned here. For the scores 1 3 5 7 3 5 9 1 2 5 with window size 5, let us walk through the process.

At first, we push the first 4 items (4 is one less than the window size 5). The max-heap would look like: 1 3 5 7 where 7 is the top element.

Then for each of the remaining items, we do the following:

  1. If the (new) item is greater than or equal to the top item in the max-heap, pop it (out) and push the new item into it. Output the new item (if the same orange is not already outputted). We do it because the new item is the max in the present window. And the existing top one is of no further use. We can now move to the next item.
  2. Keep on popping the top as long it is not one belonging to the current window. We do it, as we are interested to find the max within the window, not the out-dated ones those are no longer inside the window.
  3. Output the top (if the same orange is not already outputted). We do it as it the max within the current window.
  4. If the top item is the oldest (left-most/first/earliest/starting one) in the current window, pop it. We do it because this item is going to go out of the window as the next item gets in.

Score 3:

3 is not >= 7 (top in heap)

Existing top (7) is within the current window. Output it.

Push 3; max-heap looks like: 1 3 3 5 7

Score 5:

5 is not >= 7 (top in heap)

Existing top (7) is within the current window (3 5 7 3 5). But this orange is already outputted (we can use index of the item to track it, meaning instead of just pushing the score, retain the index along with it). No output this time.

Push 5; max-heap looks like: 1 3 3 5 5 7

Score 9:

9 >= 7 (top in heap)

Pop 7, push 9, output 9.

New max-heap: 1 3 3 5 5 9

Score 1:

1 is not >= 9 (top in heap)

Existing top (9) is within the current window. But this orange is already outputted. No output this time.

Push 1; max-heap looks like: 1 1 3 3 5 5 9

Score 2:

2 is not >= 9 (top in heap)

Existing top (9) is within the current window. But this orange is already outputted. No output this time.

Push 2; max-heap looks like: 1 1 2 3 3 5 5 9

Score 5:

Existing top (9) is within the current window. But this orange is already outputted. No output this time.

Push 5; max-heap looks like: 1 1 2 3 3 5 5 5 9

No item left. We are done!

Finally, output is 7, 9.

Complexity

If we closely observe, we see that the size of the max-heap would be always around m. Because, if the new item is greater or equal we are popping the top – hence the max-heap size is not increasing. If new item is smaller, we are pushing it and the size of the max-heap is increasing – true; but then soon the top would be out-dated and then we would pop that. So the max-heap size remains around m. Pushing (in) or popping (out) an item would cost log m, and since we would do it n times – the complexity would be O(n log m). Please note that getting the top of the max-heap costs O(1).

GitHub: Choosing Oranges

Choosing Oranges

8th JLTi Code Jam – Oct 2017

Orange is one of my favourite fruits that I buy for our Friday Fun Session participants. How would you choose the good ones from hundreds of them; especially, on the way to office, when you stop by the supermarket, in the morning rush hour?

To speed up the selection while at the same time choosing the good – firm, smooth and heavier compare to its size – I have devised a selection process. I would go from left to right, scoring each of the oranges, in a scale from 0 to 9, 9 being the best; and once a row is done, I go to the next row and so on. As I go and score, I would also choose the best one among each consecutive, say 5 oranges.

How that would look like?

Input:

5

1 3 5 7 3 5 9 1 2 5

Output: 7, 9

Explanation:

The first line says: choose the best among consecutive 5. The second line shows the score for each of the 10 oranges. The first 5 are: 1, 3, 5, 7, and 3; best among them is 7. We choose 7. The next 5 are:  3, 5, 7, 3, and 5; best among them 7 – already chosen. Move on to the next 5: 5, 7, 3, 5, and 9; best among them 9, pick that. Move to the next 5: 7, 3, 5, 9, and 1; best among them is 9, already chosen. Next 5 are: 3, 5, 9, 1, and 2; once again the best among them 9 is already chosen. Final 5 are: 5, 9, 1, 2, and 5; same as before. We cannot move further as we don’t have 5 oranges after this point.

We end up with two oranges: 7 and 9. I am not doing a bad job of selecting the best oranges for you, am I?

Input:

4

1, 3, 5

Output: None

The first line says: choose the best among 4. However, the second line shows only 3 oranges. Obviously we cannot choose any.

Input:

3

1 2 4 9

Output: 4, 9

Choose 4 from 1, 2 and 4. And then choose 9 from the next consecutive 3: 2, 4 and 9. And we are done!

Task: If we have a total of n oranges and we got to choose the best from each consecutive m, I am looking for a solution having better than O(mn) time complexity.

Graced by Your Presence


Friday Fun Session Participants

Those of us who participate(d) our weekly learning and discussion session:

  1. Bala Krishnan
  2. Tang Biao
  3. Vignesh Shankar
  4. Chia Wei Woo
  5. Mahadevan Hariharan
  6. Ramakrishnan Kalyanaraman
  7. William Lim
  8. Srila Das Bhattacharya
  9. Sravani Vanukuru
  10. Kristipi Valledor
  11. Jeffrey Quiatchon
  12. Jothi Kiruthika
  13. Sayed Neda Fatima
  14. Sreenivasulu Gotla
  15. Vishal Gupta
  16. French Jean Palma Jumawan
  17. Gopi Krishna Pasupuleti
  18. Htet Aung Nay
  19. Aquib Javed Momin
  20. Pravinkarthy Ravi
  21. Rishabh Mangal
  22. Sunil Koli
  23. Vikas Pai
  24. Sandip Dangat
  25. Hui Ling Chong
  26. Srinivasa Puchakayala Reddy
  27. Manikandan Chandran
  28. Sharon Wong
  29. Uma Maheswary Ganesan
  30. Ishwarya Sridharan
  31. Aristotle Tiru
  32. Balamurugan Chennarayaperumal
  33. Aarti Piskala Dhanabalan
  34. Karthik Kumar
  35. Sunil Khamkar
  36. Handy Toh Torres
  37. Daniel Vo
  38. Srinivasan Badri Prasad
  39. Parthasarathi Murugaiyan
  40. Hieu Nguyen Van
  41. Manikandan Panneerselvam
  42. Jayamaran Ayilu
  43. Muukta Kedar
  44. Gaurav Singh
  45. Vikas Kitawat
  46. Tanveer Shaikh
  47. Vishal Jain
  48. Dipti Saurabh Shindhe
  49. Samir Tank
  50. Bhushan Patil
  51. Munendra Tomar
  52. Prabakaran Boopathi
  53. Vikraman Sridharan
  54. Srikanth Rokkam
  55. Santhosh Kumar Janakiraman
  56. Christabel Merline
  57. Ankit Jain
  58. Gopal Chandra Das

Topics in Friday Fun Session

Friday Fun Session Topics

Year 2017

Dec

1st Dec 2017 (42nd) – Solution – RC Election Result

Nov

24th Nov 2017 (41st) – Traveling Salesman Problem (Brute force and Bellman–Held–Karp)

17th Nov 2017 (40th) – Hamiltonian Path

10th Nov 2017 (39th) – Coin Exchange – Min Number of Coins

3rd Nov 2017 (38th) – Solution – Choosing Oranges

Oct

27th Oct 2017 – Missed, On Leave

20th Oct 2017 (37th) – Coin exchange – number of ways

13th Oct 2017 – Missed, JLT D&D

6th Oct 2017 (36th) – Solution – Team Lunch

Sep

29th Sep 2017 (35th) – Floyd-Warshall Algorithm

22nd Sep 2017 (34th) – Executing SP using EF; Transaction in Nested SP

15th Sep 2017 (33rd) – Solution – FaaS; Pseudo-polynomial Complexity

8th Sep 2017 – Missed, JLT Family Day

1st Sep 2017 – Missed, Hari Raya

Aug

25th Aug 2017 (32nd) – Multithreaded Programming

18th Aug 2017 (31st) – Knapsack Problem

11th Aug 2017 (30th) – Vertex Coloring

4th Aug 2017 (29th) – Solution – Scoring Weight Loss

Jul

28th Jul 2017 (28th) – Minimum Spanning Tree – Kruskal and Prim

21st Jul 2017 (27th) – Pseudorandom Number Generator

14th Jul 2017 (26th) – Rete Algorithm

7th Jul 2017 (25th) –  Solution – Manipulating Money Exchange

Jun

30th Jun 2017 (24th) –  Rules Engine

23rd Jun 2017 (23rd) –  Inducting Classification Tree

16th Jun 2017 (22nd) –  Incision into Isolation Level; Interpreting IIS Internals; Synchronizing Web System

9th Jun 2017 (21st) –  Maximum Subarray Problem

2nd Jun 2017 (20th) –  Solution – Making money at stock market

May

26th May 2017 (19th) –  Understanding Correlation Coefficient; k-NN using R

19th May 2017 (18th) –  k-d Tree and Nearest Neighbour Search

12th May 2017 (17th) –  Bellman Ford Algorithm

5th May 2017 (16th) –  Solution – Company Tour 2017 to Noland

Apr

28th Apr 2017 (15th) –  Models in Machine Learning; k-Nearest Neighbors (k-NN)

21st Apr 2017 (14th) – Edit/Levenshtein Distance

14th Apr 2017 – Missed, Good Friday

7th Apr 2017 (13th) – Solution – No Two Team Member Next to Each Other

Mar

31st Mar 2017 (12th) – N-queens

24th Mar 2017 (11th) – Longest Common Subsequence (LCS)

17th Mar 2017 (10th) – Dijkstra’s Shortest Path

10th Mar 2017 (9th) – Infix, Prefix (Polish), Postfix (Reverse Polish)

3rd Mar 2017 (8th) – Order 2-D Array in all Directions & Find all Triplets with Sum Zero in an Array

Feb

24th Feb 2017 (7th) – Trailing Zeros in a Factorial

17th Feb 2017 (6th) – Is this Tree a BST?

10th Feb 2017 (5th) – Given a Number, Find the Smallest Next Palindrome

3rd Feb 2017 (4th) – Sort and Merge n Sorted Lists, Each having m Numbers

Jan

27th Jan 2017 – Missed, Chinese New Year Eve

20th Jan 2017 (3rd) – Shortest Exit from Maze

13rd Jan 2017 (2nd) – Finding Fibonacci – Exponential vs. Linear

6th Jan 2017 (1st) – Gmail API with OAuth 2.0

 

Solution – FaaS

33rd Friday Fun Session – 15th Sep 2017

Given a lunch schedule – a sequence of days when lunch is planned, and three price plans – daily, weekly and monthly, we want to get the cheapest lunch price.

This is the solution to JLTi Code Jam – Aug 2017 problem.

Let us walk through an example

Let us take an example as mentioned here: 1, 2, 4, 5, 17, 18. Since first day is 1 and last day is 18, it can be put under a month that consists of 20 consecutive days (not calendar month). We can use a monthly plan. But it would be too expensive (S$ 99.99) for just 6 days.

The days: 1, 2, 4 and 5 fall within a week that requires consecutive 5 days (not a calendar week). We have an option to buy a weekly plan for these 4 days that would cost S$ 27.99. However, that would be higher than had we bought day-wise for 4 days at a price of S$24.

Dynamic Programming

In general, at any given day, we have three options:

  1. We buy lunch for this day alone, using daily price S$ 6. Add that to the best price found for the previous day.
  2. We treat this as the last day of a week, if applicable, and buy a weekly plan at a cost of S$ 27.99. Add that to the best price for the day immediately prior to the first day of this week.
  3. We treat this as the last day of a month, if applicable, and buy a monthly plan at a cost of S$ 99.99. Add that to the best price for the day immediately prior to the first day of this month.

This is an optimization problem that can be solved with dynamic programming where we use the result of already solved sub-problems.

Bottom-up

We have two options: top-down and bottom-up. We realize that, at the end, all the sub-problems (for each of the days) have to be solved. We also find that it is easy to visualize the problem bottom-up. And if we do use bottom-up then the required space would be limited by the last day number.

Hence, we will solve it using bottom-up dynamic programming.

Blue colored days are when lunch is scheduled.

DP table1.png

On day 1:

Cost S$ 6.

On day 2:

Daily basis: S$ 6 + price at day 1 = S$ 12

Weekly basis: S$ 27.99

Monthly basis: S$ 99.99

Best price: S$ 12

On day 3:

No lunch schedule, cost of previous day S$ 12 is its cost.

On day 4:

Daily basis: S$ 6 + price at day 3 = S$ 18

Weekly basis: S$ 27.99

Monthly basis: S$ 99.99

Best price: S$ 18

On day 5:

Daily basis: S$ 6 + price at day 4 = S$ 24

Weekly basis: S$ 27.99

Monthly basis: S$ 99.99

Best price: S$ 24

From day 6 to day 16:

No lunch schedule, cost of previous day will be carried forward: S$ 24.

On day 17:

Daily basis: S$ 6 + price at day 16 = S$ 30

Weekly basis: S$ 27.99 + price at day 12 = S$ 51.99

Monthly basis: S$ 99.99

Best price: S$ 30

On day 18:

Daily basis: S$ 6 + price at day 17 = S$ 36

Weekly basis: S$ 27.99 + price at day 13 = S$ 51.99

Monthly basis: S$ 99.99

Best price: S$ 36

Finally, the best price is S$ 36.

Another example

Let us work with another example: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10.

DP table2

On day 7:

Daily basis: S$ 6 + price at day 6 = S$ 36

Weekly basis: S$ 27.99 + price at day 2 = S$ 33.99

Monthly basis: S$ 99.99

Best price: S$ 33.99

Finally, the best price at the end is S$ 39.99.

Complexity

The complexity is O(n), where n is the largest day number. It is a pseudo-polynomial time algorithm.

GitHub: FaaS

Team Lunch

7th JLTi Code Jam – Sep 2017

Since our JLTi Mumbai colleagues started vising our Singapore office, we are having more team/project lunches. Usually, a number of them come together, and after a short while they also leave together. It is only few days before they leave that we start organizing team lunches. Suppose, there are three colleagues belonging to three different teams, then there would be three team lunches, one for each team.

However, not all members work for an exclusive team. For example, I create an impression as if I work for more than one team, and due to the good grace of those teams, I also get invited in their team lunches.

However, due to the rush of deliverables, that is the norm here, the team lunches are squeezed in the last few days, and at times, multiple team lunches fall on the same day, typically on the last day.

That is all fine and good for most. However, I have a big problem. If two team lunches fall on the same day, and I belong to both, I miss one for obvious reason. I skip lunch does not necessarily mean I skip free lunches.

Hence, I decided to write a small program that will take the team composition in certain way and output the minimum days required to schedule the lunches so that people working on multiple teams don’t miss out any.

Yes, I am not the only person but there are some other colleagues who also work across more than one team. Let us also assume that, for our 7 or 8 teams, it might be easy to calculate it manually. But when the number of team exceeds, say 100, then a program is a must.

Input:

1 2

Output: 2

Explanation:

Input 1 2 (1 and 2 separated by a space) means there are one or more members who belong to both team 1 and team 2.

Output 2 means, at least 2 days are required to arrange lunches for the teams. On day 1, one of the two teams can go for lunch. On the second day, the other can go.

How many teams are there? Well, there are at least 2. There can be more, but that is irrelevant. Suppose there are 4 more teams – team 3, team 4, team 5 and team 6, they can go either on first day or on second day. This is because, no member working in those 4 teams work for a second team. After all, the input says, only team 1 and team 2 have some common members.

Input:

1 2

2 3

Output: 2

We have some members common to team 1 and team 2. And there are some members, who are common to team 2 and team 3, as shown in the second line.

Each line in the input would indicate the presence of common members between two teams, where the two team numbers are separated by a space. There would be at least one line of input, meaning somebody would run this program only if there exist at least one member working for more than one team.

For the above input, we would still require at least two days to avoid any conflict. On one day team 1 and team 3 can go. Team 2 must go on a separate day.

Input:

1 2

2 3

1 3

Output: 3

Now we need 3 separate days. Team 1 cannot go on the same day as team 2 or team 3. This is because team 1 has members working for both team 2 and team 3. Similarly, team 2 cannot go for lunch on the same day as team 3 as they have common members. Hence, team 1, team 2 and team 3 – all need exclusive lunch days.

Task: Given a list of team pairs (like 1 2 is a team pair, as shown in input) sharing common members, we need to write a program, that would output the minimum number of days required to set aside for team lunches, so that nobody who work across multiple teams misses his/her share of team lunches.

Solution – Scoring Weight Loss

29th Friday Fun Session – 4th Aug 2017

Given a sequence of weights (decimal numbers), we want to find the longest decreasing subsequence. And the length of that subsequence is what we are calling weight loss score. This is essentially the standard longest increasing subsequence (LIS) problem, just the other way.

This is the solution to JLTi Code Jam – Jul 2017 problem.

Let us walk through an example

Let us take the example as mentioned here: 95, 94, 97, 89, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 100, 95, 90. The subsequence can start at any value, and a value in a subsequence must be strictly lower than the previous value. Any value in the input can be skipped. The soul goal is to find the longest subsequence of decreasing values. Here one of the longest decreasing subsequences could be:  105, 100, 95, 90 and the length would be 4.

Even though, in our weight loss example, we have to find the length of longest decreasing subsequence, the standard problem is called longest increasing subsequence. Essentially the problems are the same. We can have a LIS solution and can pass it the negative of the input values. Alternatively, in the algorithm, we can alter the small to large, greater than to smaller than etc. We chose the former.

We will use two approaches to solve this problem: one is a dynamic programming based solution having O(n2) complexity, another is, let’s call it Skyline solution having O(n log n) complexity.

Dynamic Programming Solution

Let’s work with this example: 95, 96, 93, 101, 91, 90, 95, 100 – to see how LIS would work.

When the first value, 95 comes, we know it alone can make a subsequence of length 1. Well, each value can make a subsequence on its own of length 1.

When the second value 96 comes, we know it is greater than 95. Since 95 already made a subsequence of length 1, 96 can sit next to it and make a subsequence of length 2. And it would be longer than a subsequence of its own of length 1.

When the value 93 comes, it sees it cannot sit next to any value that appeared prior to it (95 and 96). Hence, it has to make a subsequence of its own.

When the value 101 comes, it knows that it can sit next to any prior values (95, 96 and 93). After all, it is bigger than each of them. It then computes the score it would make if it sits next to each of them, separately. The scores would be 2, 3, and 2, if it sits next to 95, 96 and 93 respectively. Of course, it would choose 96. The subsequence is 95, 96, 101 and the score is 3.

So we see, we can go from left to right of the input, and then for each of the previous values, it sees whether it can be placed after it. If yes, it computes the possible score. Finally, it chooses the one that gives it the highest score as its predecessor.

So we are using the solutions already found for existing overlapping sub-problems (the scores already computed for its preceding input values, that we can reuse) and can easily compute its own best score from them. Hence, it is called a dynamic programming solution.

The following table summarizes it.

DP table.png

There are two longest subsequences each with length 3. For a certain value, if we need to know the preceding value, we can backtrace and find from which earlier value its score is computed. That way, we can complete the full subsequence ending with this value.

Since for each of the input values we are looping all the preceding values, the complexity is O(n2).

Skyline Solution

In this approach, we would retain all incompatible and hence promising subsequences since any of them could lead to the construction of one of the final longest subsequences. Only at the end of the input we would know which one is the longest. Since we are retaining all incompatible subsequences I am calling it Skyline, inspired by Skyline operator.

It is obvious but let me state here, all these solutions are standard, already found and used. However, Skyline is a name I am using as I find it an appropriate term to describe this method.

If there are two apples: one big and another small, and if you are asked to choose the better one, you would choose the big one. However, if you are given an apple and an orange, you cannot, as they are incomparable. Hence you need to retain both.

When a value comes it can be one of the below three types:

Smallest value (case 1)

  1. It won’t fit at the end of any existing subsequences. Because the value is smaller than all the end values for all existing subsequences.
  2. There is no other way but to create a new subsequence with this value.
  3. We can safely discard all single value subsequences existed so far. After all, the new subsequence with the smallest value can be compared with each of them and it is clearly superior to them (score for each such subsequence is 1 and the end (and only) value for the new one is the smallest – hence it can accept more future input values than the rests).
  4. In the list of subsequences we can retain the single value subsequence at first. Meaning, every time the new smallest value comes, we simply replace the existing smallest value listed as the first subsequence.

Biggest value (case 2)

  1. The opposite of the previous case is: the new value is bigger than the end values of each of the existing subsequences.
  2. So it can fit at the end of all existing subsequences. So which one to choose?
  3. Suppose, it is the end of the input. In that case, we would like it to go at the end of the longest subsequence found so far and make it longer by one more.
  4. However, if it is not the end of the input and suppose there are some future input values coming that are bigger than the end value of the present longest subsequence and smaller than the present input value. By placing the present input value at the end of the present longest subsequence we will jeopardize a more promising possibility in future.
  5. So we should rather copy the longest subsequence found so far and add this new value at the end of it, making it the new longest.
  6. At the same time, we retain the previous longest subsequence as it is, that by now is the second longest subsequence.
  7. We will add this new and longest subsequence at the end of the list.

Middle value (case 3)

  1. We have a third case where the input value can fit the end of some subsequences and cannot fit at the end of the rest subsequences.
  2. This is because this new value is bigger than the end values of some sun-sequences and smaller than the same for the rests.
  3. So which one to choose? Of course, we have to choose one where it can fit, meaning from those whose end values are smaller than the input value.
  4. And we would like to choose one with the largest end element (yet it is smaller than the input value).
  5. However, we cannot just over-write it for the same reason as stated earlier (case 2, promising reasoning). Rather we copy it, add the new value at the end of it and add it to the list.
  6. Where – at the end of the list?
  7. No, we would insert in next to the subsequence from which we copied and extended it.
  8. And we can safely discard all other subsequences with the same length as this newly created  subsequence. After all, the length is the same and it’s end element is smaller than the end elements of the rests having equal length of it.
  9. Shall we run a loop over the list to find those to be deleted? No, we just need to find the next subsequence and if its length is the same as the newly created subsequence we delete it. No more checking is required.
  10. Why so? Please read the second point as stated below.

So we have handled all possible input values. The list of subsequences that we have created would have some nice properties:

  1. As we go from the first subsequence to the last in the list of subsequences, the length will gradually increase.
  2. There would be a maximum of one subsequence with a certain length.
  3. To find whether the input value is a case 1 or case 2 or case 3 type, we can easily run a binary search with O(log n) complexity over the end elements of the subsequences in the list. Since we would like to do so for each of the n input values, the complexity of this approach would be O(n log n).
  4. For doing the above we can use the list, just that we need to look at the end elements. Then why are we retaining the complete list?
  5. The answer is: to output the longest subsequence as well.
  6. Could we do it without saving the complete subsequence?
  7. We leave it for another day.

Walking through an example

Let’s go through the same example as used earlier: 95, 96, 93, 101, 91, 90, 95, 100.

95 (case 1)

95

96 (case 2)

95

95, 96

93 (case 1)

93

95, 96

101 (case 2)

93

95, 96

95, 96, 101

91 (case 1)

91

95, 96

95, 96, 101

90 (case 1)

90

95, 96

95, 96, 101

95 (case 3)

90

90 95

95, 96 (deleted)

95, 96, 101

100 (case 3)

90

90 95

90 95 100

95, 96, 101 (deleted)

Once all the input values are treated, the last subsequence would be the longest one.

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