# Longest subarray not having more than K distinct elements

Given N elements and a number K, find the longest subarray which has not more than K distinct elements.(It can have less than K).

**Examples:**

Input : arr[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5} k = 6 Output : 1 2 3 4 5 Explanation: The whole array has only 5 distinct elements which is less than k, so we print the array itself. Input: arr[] = {6, 5, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 5} k = 3 Output: 1 2 3 2 1, The output is the longest subarray with 3 distinct elements.

A **naive approach** will be to be traverse in the array and use hashing for every sub-arrays, and check for the longest sub-array possible with no more than K distinct elements.

An **efficient approach** is to use the concept of *two pointers* where we maintain a hash to count for occurrences of elements. We start from the beginning and keep a count of distinct elements till the number exceeds k. Once it exceeds K, we start decreasing the count of the elements in the hash from where the sub-array started and reduce our length as the sub-arrays gets decreased so the pointer moves to the right. We keep removing elements till we again get k distinct elements. We continue this process till we again have more than k distinct elements and keep the left pointer constant till then. We update our start and end according to that if the new sub-array length is more than the previous one.

**Implementation:**

## C++

`// CPP program to find longest subarray with` `// k or less distinct elements.` `#include <bits/stdc++.h>` `using` `namespace` `std;` `// function to print the longest sub-array` `void` `longest(` `int` `a[], ` `int` `n, ` `int` `k)` `{` ` ` `unordered_map<` `int` `, ` `int` `> freq;` ` ` `int` `start = 0, end = 0, now = 0, l = 0;` ` ` `for` `(` `int` `i = 0; i < n; i++) {` ` ` `// mark the element visited` ` ` `freq[a[i]]++;` ` ` `// if its visited first time, then increase` ` ` `// the counter of distinct elements by 1` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[i]] == 1)` ` ` `now++;` ` ` `// When the counter of distinct elements` ` ` `// increases from k, then reduce it to k` ` ` `while` `(now > k) {` ` ` `// from the left, reduce the number of` ` ` `// time of visit` ` ` `freq[a[l]]--;` ` ` `// if the reduced visited time element` ` ` `// is not present in further segment` ` ` `// then decrease the count of distinct` ` ` `// elements` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[l]] == 0)` ` ` `now--;` ` ` `// increase the subsegment mark` ` ` `l++;` ` ` `}` ` ` `// check length of longest sub-segment` ` ` `// when greater than previous best` ` ` `// then change it` ` ` `if` `(i - l + 1 >= end - start + 1)` ` ` `end = i, start = l;` ` ` `}` ` ` `// print the longest sub-segment` ` ` `for` `(` `int` `i = start; i <= end; i++)` ` ` `cout << a[i] << ` `" "` `;` `}` `// driver program to test the above function` `int` `main()` `{` ` ` `int` `a[] = { 6, 5, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 5 };` ` ` `int` `n = ` `sizeof` `(a) / ` `sizeof` `(a[0]);` ` ` `int` `k = 3;` ` ` `longest(a, n, k);` ` ` `return` `0;` `}` |

## Java

`// Java program to find longest subarray with` `// k or less distinct elements.` `import` `java.util.*;` `class` `GFG` `{` `// function to print the longest sub-array` `static` `void` `longest(` `int` `a[], ` `int` `n, ` `int` `k)` `{` ` ` `int` `[] freq = ` `new` `int` `[` `7` `];` ` ` `int` `start = ` `0` `, end = ` `0` `, now = ` `0` `, l = ` `0` `;` ` ` `for` `(` `int` `i = ` `0` `; i < n; i++)` ` ` `{` ` ` `// mark the element visited` ` ` `freq[a[i]]++;` ` ` `// if its visited first time, then increase` ` ` `// the counter of distinct elements by 1` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[i]] == ` `1` `)` ` ` `now++;` ` ` `// When the counter of distinct elements` ` ` `// increases from k, then reduce it to k` ` ` `while` `(now > k)` ` ` `{` ` ` `// from the left, reduce the number of` ` ` `// time of visit` ` ` `freq[a[l]]--;` ` ` `// if the reduced visited time element` ` ` `// is not present in further segment` ` ` `// then decrease the count of distinct` ` ` `// elements` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[l]] == ` `0` `)` ` ` `now--;` ` ` `// increase the subsegment mark` ` ` `l++;` ` ` `}` ` ` `// check length of longest sub-segment` ` ` `// when greater than previous best` ` ` `// then change it` ` ` `if` `(i - l + ` `1` `>= end - start + ` `1` `)` ` ` `{` ` ` `end = i;` ` ` `start = l;` ` ` `}` ` ` `}` ` ` `// print the longest sub-segment` ` ` `for` `(` `int` `i = start; i <= end; i++)` ` ` `System.out.print(a[i]+` `" "` `);` `}` `// Driver code` `public` `static` `void` `main(String args[])` `{` ` ` `int` `a[] = { ` `6` `, ` `5` `, ` `1` `, ` `2` `, ` `3` `, ` `2` `, ` `1` `, ` `4` `, ` `5` `};` ` ` `int` `n = a.length;` ` ` `int` `k = ` `3` `;` ` ` `longest(a, n, k);` `}` `}` `// This code is contributed by` `// Surendra_Gangwar` |

## Python 3

`# Python 3 program to find longest ` `# subarray with k or less distinct elements.` `# function to print the longest sub-array` `import` `collections` `def` `longest(a, n, k):` ` ` `freq ` `=` `collections.defaultdict(` `int` `)` ` ` `start ` `=` `0` ` ` `end ` `=` `0` ` ` `now ` `=` `0` ` ` `l ` `=` `0` ` ` `for` `i ` `in` `range` `(n):` ` ` `# mark the element visited` ` ` `freq[a[i]] ` `+` `=` `1` ` ` `# if its visited first time, then increase` ` ` `# the counter of distinct elements by 1` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[i]] ` `=` `=` `1` `):` ` ` `now ` `+` `=` `1` ` ` `# When the counter of distinct elements` ` ` `# increases from k, then reduce it to k` ` ` `while` `(now > k) :` ` ` `# from the left, reduce the number ` ` ` `# of time of visit` ` ` `freq[a[l]] ` `-` `=` `1` ` ` `# if the reduced visited time element` ` ` `# is not present in further segment` ` ` `# then decrease the count of distinct` ` ` `# elements` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[l]] ` `=` `=` `0` `):` ` ` `now ` `-` `=` `1` ` ` `# increase the subsegment mark` ` ` `l ` `+` `=` `1` ` ` `# check length of longest sub-segment` ` ` `# when greater than previous best` ` ` `# then change it` ` ` `if` `(i ` `-` `l ` `+` `1` `>` `=` `end ` `-` `start ` `+` `1` `):` ` ` `end ` `=` `i` ` ` `start ` `=` `l` ` ` `# print the longest sub-segment` ` ` `for` `i ` `in` `range` `(start, end ` `+` `1` `):` ` ` `print` `(a[i], end ` `=` `" "` `)` `# Driver Code` `if` `__name__ ` `=` `=` `"__main__"` `:` ` ` `a ` `=` `[ ` `6` `, ` `5` `, ` `1` `, ` `2` `, ` `3` `, ` ` ` `2` `, ` `1` `, ` `4` `, ` `5` `]` ` ` `n ` `=` `len` `(a)` ` ` `k ` `=` `3` ` ` `longest(a, n, k)` `# This code is contributed` `# by ChitraNayal` |

## C#

`// C# program to find longest subarray with` `// k or less distinct elements.` `using` `System;` ` ` `class` `GFG` `{` `// function to print the longest sub-array` `static` `void` `longest(` `int` `[]a, ` `int` `n, ` `int` `k)` `{` ` ` `int` `[] freq = ` `new` `int` `[7];` ` ` `int` `start = 0, end = 0, now = 0, l = 0;` ` ` `for` `(` `int` `i = 0; i < n; i++)` ` ` `{` ` ` `// mark the element visited` ` ` `freq[a[i]]++;` ` ` `// if its visited first time, then increase` ` ` `// the counter of distinct elements by 1` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[i]] == 1)` ` ` `now++;` ` ` `// When the counter of distinct elements` ` ` `// increases from k, then reduce it to k` ` ` `while` `(now > k)` ` ` `{` ` ` `// from the left, reduce the number of` ` ` `// time of visit` ` ` `freq[a[l]]--;` ` ` `// if the reduced visited time element` ` ` `// is not present in further segment` ` ` `// then decrease the count of distinct` ` ` `// elements` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[l]] == 0)` ` ` `now--;` ` ` `// increase the subsegment mark` ` ` `l++;` ` ` `}` ` ` `// check length of longest sub-segment` ` ` `// when greater than previous best` ` ` `// then change it` ` ` `if` `(i - l + 1 >= end - start + 1)` ` ` `{` ` ` `end = i;` ` ` `start = l;` ` ` `}` ` ` `}` ` ` `// print the longest sub-segment` ` ` `for` `(` `int` `i = start; i <= end; i++)` ` ` `Console.Write(a[i]+` `" "` `);` `}` `// Driver code` `public` `static` `void` `Main(String []args)` `{` ` ` `int` `[]a = { 6, 5, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 5 };` ` ` `int` `n = a.Length;` ` ` `int` `k = 3;` ` ` `longest(a, n, k);` `}` `}` `// This code contributed by Rajput-Ji` |

## Javascript

`<script>` `// JavaScript program to find longest subarray with` `// k or less distinct elements.` `// function to print the longest sub-array` `function` `longest(a, n, k)` `{` ` ` `var` `freq = Array(7).fill(0);` ` ` `var` `start = 0, end = 0, now = 0, l = 0;` ` ` `for` `(` `var` `i = 0; i < n; i++)` ` ` `{` ` ` `// mark the element visited` ` ` `freq[a[i]]++;` ` ` `// if its visited first time, then increase` ` ` `// the counter of distinct elements by 1` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[i]] == 1)` ` ` `now++;` ` ` `// When the counter of distinct elements` ` ` `// increases from k, then reduce it to k` ` ` `while` `(now > k)` ` ` `{` ` ` `// from the left, reduce the number of` ` ` `// time of visit` ` ` `freq[a[l]]--;` ` ` `// if the reduced visited time element` ` ` `// is not present in further segment` ` ` `// then decrease the count of distinct` ` ` `// elements` ` ` `if` `(freq[a[l]] == 0)` ` ` `now--;` ` ` `// increase the subsegment mark` ` ` `l++;` ` ` `}` ` ` `// check length of longest sub-segment` ` ` `// when greater than previous best` ` ` `// then change it` ` ` `if` `(i - l + 1 >= end - start + 1)` ` ` `{` ` ` `end = i;` ` ` `start = l;` ` ` `}` ` ` `}` ` ` `// print the longest sub-segment` ` ` `for` `(` `var` `i = start; i <= end; i++)` ` ` `document.write(a[i]+` `" "` `);` `}` `// driver program to test the above function` `var` `a = [6, 5, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 5];` `var` `n = a.length;` `var` `k = 3;` `longest(a, n, k);` `</script>` |

**Output**

1 2 3 2 1

**Time Complexity: O(N), **as we are using a loop to traverse N times.**Auxiliary Space: O(N),** as we are using extra space for freq array.

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