Zero Sum Subarray

Uncover efficient methods for identifying subarrays that sum to zero within a larger array of integers.

array
medium

Published At

3/5/2023

You're given a list of integers nums. Write a function that returns a boolean representing whether there exists a zero-sum subarray of nums.

A zero-sum subarray is any subarray where all the values add up to zero. A subarray is any contiguous section of the array. For the purposes of this problem, a subarray can be as small as one element and as long as the original array.

Sample Input

js
``nums = [-5, -5, 2, 3, -2]``
js
``nums = [-5, -5, 2, 3, -2]``

Sample Output

js
``True // The subarray [-5, 2, 3] has a sum of 0``
js
``True // The subarray [-5, 2, 3] has a sum of 0``

Hints

Hint 1

A good way to approach this problem is to first think of a simpler version. How would you check if the entire array sum is zero?

Hint 2

If the entire array does not sum to zero, then you need to check if there are any smaller sub-arrays that sum to zero. For this, it can be helpful to keep track of all the sums from [0, i], where i is every index in the array.

Hint 3

After recording all sums from [0, i], what would it mean if a sum is repeated?

Optimal Space & Time Complexity

O(n) time | O(n) space - where n is the length of nums

Solution-1
js
``````function zeroSumSubarray(nums) {

for (let i = 0; i < nums.length; i++) {
let sum = nums[i]
if (sum === 0) {
return true
}

for (let j = i + 1; j < nums.length; j++) {
sum = sum + nums[j]
if (sum === 0) {
console.log(nums[i], nums[j])
return true
}
}
}

return false;
}``````
Solution-1
js
``````function zeroSumSubarray(nums) {

for (let i = 0; i < nums.length; i++) {
let sum = nums[i]
if (sum === 0) {
return true
}

for (let j = i + 1; j < nums.length; j++) {
sum = sum + nums[j]
if (sum === 0) {
console.log(nums[i], nums[j])
return true
}
}
}

return false;
}``````
Solution-2
js
``````function zeroSumSubarray(nums) {
const sums = new Set([0])
let currentSum = 0
for (const num of nums) {
currentSum += num
if(sums.has(currentSum)) return true
}
return false
}``````
Solution-2
js
``````function zeroSumSubarray(nums) {
const sums = new Set([0])
let currentSum = 0
for (const num of nums) {
currentSum += num
if(sums.has(currentSum)) return true
}
return false
}``````

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