I use a O(n) recursive method, but I got a TLE, why?

  • 2
    bool recursive(int A[], int n, int curPos, bool *flag){
    	int stride=A[curPos];
    		return false;
    		return true;
    	for(int i=stride;i>=1;i--){
    		if(recursive(A, n, curPos+i, flag))
    			return true;
    	return false;
    bool canJump(int A[], int n){
    	bool *flag=new bool[n];
    	memset(flag, false, sizeof(bool)*n);
    	return recursive(A, n, 0, flag);

    In this method I mark the position that has been traversed, and skip the position that has been marked.
    I think this is an O(n) method, but why I got a TLE?

  • 3

    Good question. It may make you think that it is an O(N) algorithm since we are making use of a 1D flag to memoize the intermediate, whereas in reality, it is O(N^2) in the worst case. Think of the following sequence for instance:

    Seq: 5 4 3 2 1 0 100
    Ind: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6

    Even though the flag array can be filled in O(N) time, in the above sequence, flag[0] will be accessed once (after it's set, it will never be looked again), flag[1] is also accessed once for the same reason; however, flag[2] will be accessed twice (the first time it is reached from Seq[0], it will be set; the second time it is reached from Seq[1], it will be checked once), flag[3] three times (set when reached from Seq[0], then checked twice when reached from Seq[1] and Seq[2])... In the end, flag will be accessed 1+2+3+...+N ~ O(N^2) times. Hence, the amortized time of your solution is O(N^2).

    There is a very simple greedy approach (although I personally understand it as an extremely simplified form of BFS) which you may find in other discussion threads under this question and/or Jump Game II.

  • 0

    Thanks for your help. At first I think it as a O(N) time method because I only considered the O(N) write times of flag array, but I ignore the O(N^2) read times of flag array, which cost most time in my method. Your answer makes me clear about this problem.

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