Javascript Solution (faster than 90%+ submissions) *added explanation

  • 1
    var coinChange = function(coins, amount) {
        var changes = [];
        changes[0] = 0;
        // changes[] means the anwser for different amount, so ret = changes[amount]
        while(changes.length <= amount){
            var c = Math.pow(2, 31) - 1;
            for (var i = 0; i < coins.length; i++) {
                if (changes.length - coins[i] < 0) 
                c = Math.min(c, 1 + changes[changes.length - coins[i]]);
        return changes[amount] == Math.pow(2, 31) - 1 ? -1 : changes[amount];

    changes is an array to store the least amount of coins we need to make up a certain amount of money, the index of changes means the amount of money to make up, so changes[x] means to make up money amount x how many coins we need at least

    now, imagine if changes[0] ... to changes[10] is already known, and we need to calculate changes[11], coins = [1, 2, 5],

    we know we have to take at least one coin from coins list otherwise we won't be able to make up 11

    if we take coins[0] which has value 1, and now the total amount of money we need to make up becomes 10, and how many coins we need at least to make up 10 is known already as changes[10], so if we take coins[0] to make up amount 11, the least amount of coins we need will be 1 + changes[10]

    if we take coins[1] which has value 2, the least amount of coins we need will be 1 + changes[9]

    if we take coins[2] which has value 5, the least amount of coins we need will be 1 + changes[6]

    changes[11] = min(1 + changes[10], 1 + changes[9], 1 + changes[6])

    from the explanation above, we can see that to calculate changes[x], we will need to know the values from changes[0] to changes[x-1], so in order to know changes[x] we start to calculate from changes[0]

    corner cases are when the amount remaining to make up is less than the coin value, in this case, we simply continue to the next coin, and if all coins values are greater than the amount to make up (changes[amount] will equal to Math.pow(2, 31) - 1 in my code), that means we don't have any coin to make up that amount, so return -1

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