Taken from Introduction to Algorithms

Describe a Θ(n lg n)-time algorithm
that, given a set S of n integers and
another integer x, determines whether
or not there exist two elements in S
whose sum is exactly x.

This is my best solution implemented in Java so far:

public static boolean test(int[] a, int val) {
mergeSort(a);
for (int i = 0; i < a.length - 1; ++i) {
int diff = (val >= a[i]) ? val - a[i] : a[i] - val;
if (Arrays.binarySearch(a, i, a.length, diff) >= 0) {
return true;
}
}
return false;
}

Now my 1st question is: Is this a correct solution? From my understanding, mergeSort should perform the sort in O(n lg n), the loop should take O(n lg n) (n for the iteration multiplied by O(lg n) for the binary search, resulting in O(2n lg n), so it should be correct.

My 2nd question is: Are there any better solutions? Is sorting the array essential?

## Answer

Your solution seems fine. Yes you need to sort because its a pre requisite for binary search. You can make a slight modification to your logic as follows:

public static boolean test(int[] a, int val)
{
Arrays.sort(a);
int i = 0; // index of first element.
int j = a.length - 1; // index of last element.
while(i<j)
{
// check if the sum of elements at index i and j equals val, if yes we are done.
if(a[i]+a[j] == val)
return true;
// else if sum if more than val, decrease the sum.
else if(a[i]+a[j] > val)
j--;
// else if sum is less than val, increase the sum.
else
i++;
}
// failed to find any such pair..return false.
return false;
}