Search in Rotated Sorted Array – Leetcode Python

LeetCode has a Medium coding Problem in Its’ Algorithm Section “Search in Rotated Sorted Array”. Today We are going to solve this problem. LeetCode Link of the Problem is HERE

Search in Rotated Sorted Array


There is an integer array nums sorted in ascending order (with distinct values).

Prior to being passed to your function, nums is possibly rotated at an unknown pivot index k (1 <= k < nums.length) such that the resulting array is [nums[k], nums[k+1], ..., nums[n-1], nums[0], nums[1], ..., nums[k-1]] (0-indexed). For example, [0,1,2,4,5,6,7] might be rotated at pivot index 3 and become [4,5,6,7,0,1,2].

Given the array nums after the possible rotation and an integer target, return the index of target if it is in nums, or -1 if it is not in nums.

You must write an algorithm with O(log n) runtime complexity.


Input: nums = [4,5,6,7,0,1,2], target = 0
Output: 4
Input: nums = [4,5,6,7,0,1,2], target = 3
Output: -1
Input: nums = [1], target = 0
Output: -1


  • 1 <= nums.length <= 5000
  • -104 <= nums[i] <= 104
  • All values of nums are unique.
  • nums is an ascending array that is possibly rotated.
  • -104 <= target <= 104

Solution to Search in Rotated Sorted Array

Skeleton code

class Solution(object):
    def search(self, nums, target):
        :type nums: List[int]
        :type target: int
        :rtype: int

If you find the target value in the array return its index, otherwise return -1. You may assume no duplicate exists in the array.

Complete Solution

class Solution:
    def search(self, nums, target):
        l, r = 0, len(nums)-1
        while l <= r:
            mid = l + (r-l)//2
            if nums[mid] == target:
                return mid
            if nums[l] <= nums[mid]:  # here should include "==" case
                if nums[l] <= target < nums[mid]:
                    r = mid - 1
                    l = mid + 1
                if nums[mid] < target <= nums[r]:
                    l = mid + 1
                    r = mid - 1
        return -1


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