 Kotlin Operator inspired from Python

2019, Jun 07

Since last week, I am practicing HackerRank problems in Python to learn it. While solving probelms, yesterday I found an interesting operator in Python. I still don’t know what it is called though.

In this post, we are going to see how I used Kotlin’s operator overloading feature to mimic this Python operator.

Question: Highest Hourglass Value (2D Array - DS)

The question, I was solving can be found in the mentioned URL: https://www.hackerrank.com/challenges/2d-array/problem?h_l=interview&playlist_slugs%5B%5D=interview-preparation-kit&playlist_slugs%5B%5D=arrays

Answer: Highest Hourglass Value

fun hourglassSum(arr: Array<Array<Int>>): Int {
var result = -63
for (row in 0 until 4) {
for (col in 0 until 4) {
val temp = arr[row][col] +
arr[row][col + 1] +
arr[row][col + 2] +
arr[row + 1][col + 1] +
arr[row + 2][col] +
arr[row + 2][col + 1] +
arr[row + 2][col + 2]
if (temp > result) result = temp
}
}
return result
}

As I already said that I solve these problems to learn Python. So I tried the solution with Python too. And here is my Python equivalent code.

def hourglass_sum(arr):
result = -63
for row in range(4):
for col in range(4):
temp = arr[row][col] +\
arr[row][col + 1] +\
arr[row][col + 2] +\
arr[row + 1][col + 1] +\
arr[row + 2][col] +\
arr[row + 2][col + 1] +\
arr[row + 2][col + 2]
if temp > result:
result = temp
return result

Improvement

After digging a bit more into variou Python syntax, I found a better way to write the above answer. Here it is:

def hourglass_sum(arr):
result = -63
for row in range(4):
for col in range(4):
temp = sum(arr[row][col:col + 3]) +\
arr[row + 1][col + 1] +\
sum(arr[row + 2][col:col + 3])
if temp > result:
result = temp
return result

Inspiration

The above code in Python looks more readable. This inspired me to look into my Kotlin code and refactor it into something similar in readability.

Problem Statement

I have to find two below things:

1. An operator in Kotlin, which looks similar to a:b.
2. An equivalent method to sum(\*args)

Solutions

1. As Kotlin has reserved : operator to be used while variable declaration val x: Int = 0, I had to find some other operator as a replacement. Guess what!!! Kotlin alrady has thought about it and has given us an operator .. by rotating : to 90°.
2. We already have a sum() extension function in Kotlin.

Now let’s modify our Kotlin code to make it better.

fun hourglassSum(arr: Array<Array<Int>>): Int {
var result = -63
for (row in 0 until 4) {
for (col in 0 until 4) {
val temp = arr[row][col..col + 2].sum() +
arr[row + 1][col + 1] +
arr[row + 2][col..col + 2].sum()
if (temp > result) result = temp
}
}
return result
}

The above code looks similar to our Python equivalent. but unfortunately the code doesn’t compile. [ ]

And to solve this, we need to overload the corresponding operator we just created. Here it is,

operator fun <T> Array<T>.get(range: IntRange) = sliceArray(range)

Now the code compiles and works as expected with better readability.

Contribution:

Please feel free to discuss if you have any further improvements on my answer. I would love to discuss about more optimized answer.