#### Overview of this book

Choosing the right data structure is pivotal to optimizing the performance and scalability of applications. This new edition of Hands-On Data Structures and Algorithms with Python will expand your understanding of key structures, including stacks, queues, and lists, and also show you how to apply priority queues and heaps in applications. You’ll learn how to analyze and compare Python algorithms, and understand which algorithms should be used for a problem based on running time and computational complexity. You will also become confident organizing your code in a manageable, consistent, and scalable way, which will boost your productivity as a Python developer. By the end of this Python book, you’ll be able to manipulate the most important data structures and algorithms to more efficiently store, organize, and access data in your applications.
Preface
Free Chapter
Python Data Types and Structures
Introduction to Algorithm Design
Algorithm Design Techniques and Strategies
Stacks and Queues
Trees
Heaps and Priority Queues
Hash Tables
Graphs and Algorithms
Searching
Sorting
Selection Algorithms
String Matching Algorithms
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Index

# Divide and conquer

One of the important and effective techniques for solving a complex problem is divide and conquer. The divide-and-conquer paradigm divides a problem into smaller sub-problems, and then solves these; finally, it combines the results to obtain a global, optimal solution. More specifically, in divide-and-conquer design, the problem is divided into two smaller sub-problems, with each of them being solved recursively. The partial solutions are merged to obtain a final solution. This is a very common problem-solving technique, and is, arguably, the most commonly used approach in algorithm design.

Some examples of the divide-and-conquer design technique are as follows:

• Binary search
• Merge sort
• Quick sort
• Algorithm for fast multiplication
• Strassen’s matrix multiplication
• Closest pair of points

Let’s have a look at two examples, the binary search and merge sort algorithms, to understand how the divide-and...