For a given binary tree and a sum, I have written the following function to check whether there is a root to leaf path in that tree with the given sum.

//A binary tree node
struct Node
    int data;
    struct Node* left, * right;

bool hasPathSum(Node *node, int sum)
        return sum==0;

    return ( hasPathSum(node->left,  sum-node->data) || 
             hasPathSum(node->right, sum-node->data) );

Are there any edge cases in which the code will break? Also, do comment on the code style.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @JerryCoffin: The sum==0 statement is reached only when node==NULL. Otherwise hasPathSum is recursively called on left and right subtree until it reaches left or right subtree of a leaf node. \$\endgroup\$ – Shridhar R Kulkarni Oct 7 '16 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems fine to me. \$\endgroup\$ – MAG Oct 7 '16 at 4:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops--I misread. My apologies. \$\endgroup\$ – Jerry Coffin Oct 7 '16 at 4:55
  • Give your operators some breathing space.

        if (!node) {
            return sum == 0;
        return hasPathSum(node->left,  sum - node->data) || 
               hasPathSum(node->right, sum - node->data);

    Note that return expression needs no parenthesis.

  • sum - node->data seems more natural to be expressed once:

        sum -= node->data;
        return hasPathSum(node->left,  sum) || 
               hasPathSum(node->right, sum);
  • I see no edge cases except possible overflows.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, henceforth I will see to it that operators get space to breathe. I see in your code you have omitted the parenthesis in return statement and added braces for if construct. Will you suggest me how do I decide whether to use/omit braces in the code(of course in cases where it is not necessary to use them), whether I should use/omit the parenthesis(again when they are not necessary to be used)? \$\endgroup\$ – Shridhar R Kulkarni Oct 8 '16 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @shridharfly It is generally recommended to never omit braces. Parenthesis OTOH are less strict. Use them to emphasize the priority of subexpressions. Parenthesis around an entire expression are never used; particularly with return expression. \$\endgroup\$ – vnp Oct 8 '16 at 3:15

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