Approach #1: Trie + Set Intersection [Time Limit Exceeded]

Intuition and Algorithm

We use two tries to separately find all words that match the prefix, plus all words that match the suffix. Then, we try to find the highest weight element in the intersection of these sets.

Of course, these sets could still be large, so we might TLE if we aren't careful.

Complexity Analysis

  • Time Complexity: where is the number of words, is the maximum length of a word, and is the number of queries. If we use memoization in our solution, we could produce tighter bounds for this complexity, as the complex queries are somewhat disjoint.

  • Space Complexity: , the size of the tries.


Approach #2: Paired Trie [Accepted]

Intuition and Algorithm

Say we are inserting the word apple. We could insert ('a', 'e'), ('p', 'l'), ('p', 'p'), ('l', 'p'), ('e', 'a') into our trie. Then, if we had equal length queries like prefix = "ap", suffix = "le", we could find the node trie['a', 'e']['p', 'l'] in our trie. This seems promising.

What about queries that aren't equal? We should just insert them like normal. For example, to capture a case like prefix = "app", suffix = "e", we could create nodes trie['a', 'e']['p', None]['p', None].

After inserting these pairs into our trie, our searches are straightforward.

Complexity Analysis

  • Time Complexity: where is the number of words, is the maximum length of a word, and is the number of queries.

  • Space Complexity: , the size of the trie.


Approach #3: Trie of Suffix Wrapped Words [Accepted]

Intuition and Algorithm

Consider the word 'apple'. For each suffix of the word, we could insert that suffix, followed by '#', followed by the word, all into the trie.

For example, we will insert '#apple', 'e#apple', 'le#apple', 'ple#apple', 'pple#apple', 'apple#apple' into the trie. Then for a query like prefix = "ap", suffix = "le", we can find it by querying our trie for le#ap.

Complexity Analysis

  • Time Complexity: where is the number of words, is the maximum length of a word, and is the number of queries.

  • Space Complexity: , the size of the trie.


Analysis written by: @awice.