http://qs321.pair.com?node_id=878289


in reply to Re: rand + shift || pop
in thread rand + shift || pop

While splice is helpful, shuffle + shift || pop is a very simple and elegant solution. Didn't even twig on that one. Thanks very much.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^3: rand + shift || pop
by lidden (Curate) on Dec 21, 2010 at 15:58 UTC
    Shuffleing is O(n) and spliceing is O(1), this may matter if your array is large.

    Update: Oops, my understanding of splice was wrong. See JavaFan and ikegami below.

      Actually, the expected running time of splicing is Ω(n), as a random splice will have to move n/4 elements on average.

      If you want to repeatedly get a random element (without duplication), shuffle the array and use pop or shift, for a linear running time. Repeatedly splicing a random element has an expected running time of Ω(n2).

      It's only O(1) if you remove from the start or the end.