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C++ Program To Check If A String Is Substring Of Another

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  • Last Updated : 20 Jan, 2022

Given two strings s1 and s2, find if s1 is a substring of s2. If yes, return the index of the first occurrence, else return -1.

Examples : 

Input: s1 = "for", s2 = "geeksforgeeks"
Output: 5
Explanation:
String "for" is present as a substring
of s2.

Input: s1 = "practice", s2 = "geeksforgeeks"
Output: -1.
Explanation:
There is no occurrence of "practice" in
"geeksforgeeks"

Simple Approach: The idea is to run a loop from start to end and for every index in the given string check whether the sub-string can be formed from that index. This can be done by running a nested loop traversing the given string and in that loop run another loop checking for sub-string from every index. 
For example, consider there to be a string of length N and a substring of length M. Then run a nested loop, where the outer loop runs from 0 to (N-M) and the inner loop from 0 to M. For very index check if the sub-string traversed by the inner loop is the given sub-string or not. 

C++




// C++ program to check if a string is
// substring of other.
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
  
// Returns true if s1 is substring 
// of s2
int isSubstring(string s1, string s2)
{
    int M = s1.length();
    int N = s2.length();
  
    /* A loop to slide pat[] one 
       by one */
    for (int i = 0; i <= N - M; i++) 
    {
        int j;
  
        /* For current index i, check for
           pattern match */
        for (j = 0; j < M; j++)
            if (s2[i + j] != s1[j])
                break;
  
        if (j == M)
            return i;
    }
    return -1;
}
  
// Driver code 
int main()
{
    string s1 = "for";
    string s2 = "geeksforgeeks";
    int res = isSubstring(s1, s2);
    if (res == -1)
        cout << "Not present";
    else
        cout << "Present at index " << 
                 res;
    return 0;
}


Output:

Present at index 5

Complexity Analysis: 

  • Time complexity: O(m * n) where m and n are lengths of s1 and s2 respectively. 
    A nested loop is used the outer loop runs from 0 to N-M and inner loop from 0 to M so the complexity is O(m*n).
  • Space Complexity: O(1). 
    As no extra space is required.

An efficient solution is to use a O(n) searching algorithm like KMP algorithm, Z algorithm, etc.
Language implementations: 

Another Efficient Solution: 

  • An efficient solution would need only one traversal i.e. O(n) on the longer string s1. Here we will start traversing the string s1 and maintain a pointer for string s2 from 0th index.
  • For each iteration we compare the current character in s1 and check it with the pointer at s2.
  • If they match we increment the pointer on s2 by 1. And for every mismatch we set the pointer back to 0.
  • Also keep a check when the s2 pointer value is equal to the length of string s2, if true we break and return the value (pointer of string s1 – pointer of string s2)
  • Works with strings containing duplicate characters.

C++




// C++ program to implement 
// the above approach
#include <bits/stdc++.h>
using namespace std;
  
int Substr(string s2, string s1)
{
    // pointing s2
    int counter = 0; 
    int i = 0;
    for(; i < s1.length(); i++)
    {
        if(counter==s2.length())
            break;
        if(s2[counter]==s1[i])
        {
            counter++;
        }
      else
        {
            // Special case where character preceding 
            // the i'th character is duplicate
            if(counter > 0)
            {
                i -= counter;
            }
            counter = 0;
        }
    }
    return (counter < s2.length() ? 
            -1 : i - counter);
}
  
// Driver code
int main() 
{
    string s1 = 
    "geeksfffffoorrfoorforgeeks";
    cout << Substr("for", s1);
    return 0;
}
// This code is contributed by Manu Pathria


Output:

18

Complexity Analysis:

The complexity of the above code will be still O(n*m) in the worst case and the space complexity is O(1).

Please refer complete article on Check if a string is substring of another for more details!


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