leetcode Question: Find Minimum in Rotated Sorted Array

Find Minimum in Rotated Sorted Array

Suppose a sorted array is rotated at some pivot unknown to you beforehand.

(i.e., 0 1 2 4 5 6 7 might become 4 5 6 7 0 1 2).

Find the minimum element.

You may assume no duplicate exists in the array.


In a sorted array, the minimum is the first element. Now the array has been rotated, so we need to search the minimum element. Binary search is usually a efficient way dealing with such problems where the "sub" array has the similar structure of the "parent" array.

In this problem, there is only 1 rotation, so that there are only limited cases when we split the array using the mid-element:
 1. the right part is ordered (A[mid] < A[ed])
 2. the right  part is unordered (A[mid] > A[ed])
 Some might say that what about the left part of the array? Note that there is only 1 rotation, which indicates that if right part is unordered, the left part of array must be ordered.

Considering the above two cases, finding the minimum is now becoming a simple binary search with slight modifications. Details can be seen in the following code.


class Solution {
    void bs(vector<int> &num, int st,int ed, int &res){
        if (st>ed){ return; }
        else {
            int mid = st+(ed-st)/2; //get middle index
            if (num[mid]<num[ed]){  // right part ordered
                res = min(res,num[mid]); //get right part min
                bs(num,st,mid-1,res); //search left part
            } else {  //right part unordered
                res = min(res,num[st]); //get left part min
                bs(num, mid+1, ed,res); //search right part
    int findMin(vector<int> &num) {
        int n = num.size();
        int res = num[0];
        return res;


class Solution:
    # @param num, a list of integer
    # @return an integer
    def bs(self, num, st, ed, res):
        if st > ed:
            return res
            mid = st + (ed - st)/2
            if num[mid] < num[ed]:
                res = min(res, num[mid])
                return self.bs(num, st, mid-1, res)
                res = min(res, num[st])
                return self.bs(num, mid+1, ed, res)
    def findMin(self, num):
        n = len(num)
        res = num[0]
        return self.bs(num, 0, n-1, res)

1 comment: