# Maximum path problem using Scala

I am very new to Scala. I have done an exercise using Scala to solve the maximum path problem.

Basically, I have a triangle of integers, I want to find the path from the top to bottom which the numbers on the route produces the largest sum. For example:

       5
12    3
2    4     9
1    9    12    7


Should return:

5 -> 12 -> 4 -> 12
Sum = 33


1. Better algorithm
2. Writing better scala code

Here is the code:

import scala._

class MaxPath {
def sumTree(input : List[List[Int]], tempResult : List[List[Int]], currentlevel : Int) : List[List[Int]] = {
if(currentlevel == input.size) return tempResult

val updatedRow : List[Int] = currentlevel match {
case 0 => input(currentlevel)
case _ => {
val lastRow = tempResult(currentlevel - 1)
val currentRow = input(currentlevel)

val newLast = currentRow.last + lastRow.last
val middleSection = currentRow.drop(1).dropRight(1)

val newMiddle : List[Int] = for {
(value, index) <- middleSection.zipWithIndex
middle = value + Math.max(lastRow(index), lastRow(index + 1))
} yield middle

}
}

sumTree(input, tempResult:::List(updatedRow), currentlevel + 1)
}

def traceBack(input : List[List[Int]], transformed : List[List[Int]], index : Int, currentLevel : Int) : List[Int] = {
if(currentLevel == input.size) return Nil

val row = input(currentLevel)
val rowTransformed = transformed(currentLevel)
val max = index match {
case -1 => {
val maxIndex = rowTransformed.zipWithIndex.maxBy(_._1)._2
(row(maxIndex), maxIndex)
}
case x  => {
val rowSize = row.size
x match {
case rowSize => (row.last, 0)
case _ => {
val maxIndex = List(rowTransformed(index-1), rowTransformed(index)).zip(List(index - 1, index)).maxBy(_._1)._2
(row(maxIndex), maxIndex)
}
}
}
}

traceBack(input, transformed, max._2, currentLevel + 1) ::: List(max._1)
}

def calcualte(input : List[List[Int]]) : (List[Int], Int) = {
val transformed = sumTree(input, Nil, 0)
val path = traceBack(input.reverse, transformed.reverse, -1, 0)
(path, path.sum)
}
}

object MaxPath {
val input : List[List[Int]] = List(
List(5),
List(12, 3),
List(2, 4, 9),
List(1, 9, 12, 7)
)

def main(args : Array[String]) = {
val mp = new MaxPath
val result = mp.calcualte(input)

println(result._1.mkString(" -> "))
println("Sum = " + result._2)
}
}

• I also used a similar approach to the one above, but added dynamic programming to speed up the algorithm so that you can use it to solve Problem 67 where the data set is pretty large. I have a video where I live code and explain the solution. You can see the final solution on github. Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 6:57

In terms of algorithm, I think it is best to focus on the answer you are after. In This case you want the sum, but I notice your result returns the path and the sum.

If you want to focus on the sum think about starting from the bottom, and accessing the best path in terms of the bottom two rows and merging the results up.

Here is an example:

5
12, 3
2, 4, 9
1, 9, 12, 7


merge last 2 lines (lines 3 and 4)

2 + 9, 4 + 12, 9 + 12


merge the next line (line 2 and the merged result of 3 and 4)

12 + (4 + 12), 3 + (9 + 12)


merge the fist line (line 1 and the merged result of the 2, 3, and 4)

5 + (12 + (4 + 12))


• If you are going to access an element by index, use an indexed collection like Vector
• Consider using fold or reduce instead of recursion with an accumulator
• Props for using immutable variables and data structures

here is a link to my solution to the problem: https://gist.github.com/dholbrook/6244448#file-euler18-scala