Merge Two Sorted Lists

Linked List

Easy

Merge two sorted linked lists and return it as a new list. The new list should be made by splicing together the nodes of the first two lists.

Example:

Input: 1->2->4, 1->3->4
Output: 1->1->2->3->4->4

Solution

Iteration

Time complexity : O(n+m)

Space complexity : O(1)

/**
 * Definition for singly-linked list.
 * public class ListNode {
 *     int val;
 *     ListNode next;
 *     ListNode(int x) { val = x; }
 * }
 */
class Solution {
    public ListNode mergeTwoLists(ListNode l1, ListNode l2) {
        ListNode dummy = new ListNode(0);
        ListNode p = dummy;
        while (l1 != null || l2 != null) {
            if (l1 == null) {
                p.next = l2;
                break;
            }
            if (l2 == null) {
                p.next = l1;
                break;
            }
            if (l1.val < l2.val) {
                p.next = l1;
                l1 = l1.next;
            } else {
                p.next = l2;
                l2 = l2.next;
            }
            p = p.next;
        }
        return dummy.next;
    }
}

LeetCode Official - Iteration

Time complexity : O(n+m)

Space complexity : O(1)

class Solution {
    public ListNode mergeTwoLists(ListNode l1, ListNode l2) {
        // maintain an unchanging reference to node ahead of the return node.
        ListNode prehead = new ListNode(-1);

        ListNode prev = prehead;
        while (l1 != null && l2 != null) {
            if (l1.val <= l2.val) {
                prev.next = l1;
                l1 = l1.next;
            } else {
                prev.next = l2;
                l2 = l2.next;
            }
            prev = prev.next;
        }

        // exactly one of l1 and l2 can be non-null at this point, so connect
        // the non-null list to the end of the merged list.
        prev.next = l1 == null ? l2 : l1;

        return prehead.next;
    }
}

LeetCode Official - Recursion

Time complexity : O(n+m)

Space complexity : O(n+m) - The first call to mergeTwoLists does not return until the ends of both l1 and l2 have been reached, so n+m stack frames consume O(n+m) space.

class Solution {
    public ListNode mergeTwoLists(ListNode l1, ListNode l2) {
        if (l1 == null) {
            return l2;
        }
        else if (l2 == null) {
            return l1;
        }
        else if (l1.val < l2.val) {
            l1.next = mergeTwoLists(l1.next, l2);
            return l1;
        }
        else {
            l2.next = mergeTwoLists(l1, l2.next);
            return l2;
        }

    }
}

Reference

https://leetcode.com/problems/merge-two-sorted-lists/solution/

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