189. Rotate Array

The Problem

Link to original problem on Leetcode.

Given an array, rotate the array to the right by k steps, where k is non-negative.

Follow up:

Example 1:

Input: nums = [1,2,3,4,5,6,7], k = 3
Output: [5,6,7,1,2,3,4]

rotate 1 steps to the right: [7,1,2,3,4,5,6]
rotate 2 steps to the right: [6,7,1,2,3,4,5]
rotate 3 steps to the right: [5,6,7,1,2,3,4]

Example 2:

Input: nums = [-1,-100,3,99], k = 2
Output: [3,99,-1,-100]

rotate 1 steps to the right: [99,-1,-100,3]
rotate 2 steps to the right: [3,99,-1,-100]


My Solution

Naive Approach

Never hurts to start with a good brute-forcing. For each rotation k, loop through the array num and shift everything right by one. This will rotate the array with O(n×k)O(n \times k) time complexity.

// Bad solution, don't use this
const rotate = function(nums, k) {
// First, get k down to a manageable size to avoid
// needlessly rotating the whole array multiple times
// for large values of k
k = k % nums.length;

for (let j = 0; j < k; j++) {
let previous = nums[nums.length - 1];
for (let i = 0; i < nums.length; i++) {
const newPrevious = nums[i];
nums[i] = previous;
previous = newPrevious;

// Instructions are to modify in place, so nothing returned.

JavaScript Array Functions

JavaScript's splice function can be a little weird, but useful once you know how it works. Here we greatly speed up the array shifting by lopping off from the end of the nums array and inserting it to the front.

I think it would've been cleaner to splice off the end, then push the remaining nums to the end of that splice—but, despite console.log(nums) reading correctly after doing this, Leetcode's solution checker didn't like that.

I'm sure the fact that I didn't write some elaborate algorithm to do this is a violation of the spirit of Leetcode. Time complexity should be O(n)O(n).

const rotate = function(nums, k) {
k = k % nums.length;

// Splice can delete and insert!
// The inner splice deletes from nums
// starting at the index of nums.length - k,
// and running to the end.
// The outer splice starts at index 0, deletes 0
// items, then inserts the spread out returned
// value of the inner splice.
nums.splice(0,0,...nums.splice(nums.length - k));