# Prefix Sum Clearly Explained

TLDRThis video introduces the concept of prefix sum, a technique that efficiently calculates the sum of any subarray within an array. By constructing a prefix sum array (PSA), one can quickly determine the sum of subarrays, as demonstrated by the example of finding the sum of elements 2 through 4 in an array. The primary advantage of PSA is its ability to reduce the time complexity from O(n) to O(1) for such operations, albeit at the cost of extra space for the PSA. The video emphasizes the wide application of prefix sum in solving algorithmic problems and promises future content on its practical applications.

###### Takeaways

- π Prefix sum is the cumulative sum of elements in a subarray of the original array.
- π’ The first position of the prefix sum array is the value of the first element in the original array.
- π Each subsequent position in the prefix sum array is the sum of the previous values plus the current value from the original array.
- π The prefix sum array allows for efficient calculation of the sum of any subarray.
- π With prefix sum, querying the sum of a subarray takes constant time, as opposed to linear time without it.
- π To find the sum of a subarray, subtract the prefix sum of the array up to the starting index from the prefix sum up to the ending index.
- π‘ The main benefit of using a prefix sum array is the significant speedup in calculating subarray sums.
- π The trade-off of using a prefix sum is the extra space required to store the prefix sum array.
- π Prefix sum arrays are widely used in solving algorithmic problems and are a fundamental concept in computer science.
- π Understanding prefix sums is beneficial for anyone learning about algorithms and data structures.
- π More resources and practical applications of prefix sums will be covered in future content.

###### Q & A

### What is a prefix sum?

-A prefix sum is an array where each element is the sum of the previous elements in the array up to that position.

### How is the first element of the prefix sum array calculated?

-The first element of the prefix sum array is the value of the first element in the original array, as it is the sum of the subarray starting from the first position.

### What is the purpose of constructing a prefix sum array?

-The purpose of constructing a prefix sum array is to quickly calculate the sum of any subarray in the original array without having to manually add up the elements.

### How does the prefix sum array help in finding the sum of a subarray?

-The prefix sum array helps by allowing us to find the sum of a subarray by simply subtracting the prefix sum of the starting index minus one from the prefix sum of the ending index.

### What is the time complexity of finding a subarray sum without a prefix sum array?

-Without a prefix sum array, finding the sum of a subarray takes O(n) time, where n is the number of elements in the subarray.

### What is the trade-off of using a prefix sum array?

-The trade-off of using a prefix sum array is the extra space it requires to store the prefix sums, which is O(n) in the worst case.

### How does the prefix sum array work for an array with negative numbers?

-The prefix sum array works similarly for arrays with negative numbers, accumulating the sum including the negative values at each position.

### Can prefix sum arrays be used for arrays with non-numeric elements?

-While prefix sum arrays are typically used with numeric elements, they can theoretically be applied to any array where elements can be combined through a binary operation, such as concatenation of strings.

### What is an example of a practical application of prefix sum arrays in algorithms?

-Prefix sum arrays are used in various algorithms, such as range queries, matrix multiplication, and solving problems that involve calculating the sum of consecutive elements in a sequence.

### How does the prefix sum array differ from a simple sum of an array?

-A simple sum of an array is the total sum of all its elements, whereas a prefix sum array contains the cumulative sums of all subarrays, providing the sum of any subarray in constant time.

### What is the space complexity of creating a prefix sum array for an array of size n?

-The space complexity of creating a prefix sum array for an array of size n is O(n), as it requires an additional array of the same size to store the cumulative sums.

###### Outlines

##### π Introduction to Prefix Sum

The video begins with an introduction to the concept of prefix sum, explaining it as the cumulative sum of subarrays of the original array. An example array 'a' is presented, and the process of constructing the prefix summary array (PSA) is demonstrated step by step. The video emphasizes the efficiency of using a PSA for quickly calculating the sum of any subarray, as opposed to manually adding individual elements, which would take linear time (O(n)). The benefits and the extra space cost associated with creating a PSA are also discussed.

###### Mindmap

###### Keywords

##### π‘prefix sum

##### π‘subarray

##### π‘algorithmic coding

##### π‘efficiency

##### π‘space complexity

##### π‘time complexity

##### π‘cumulative sum

##### π‘array

##### π‘optimization

##### π‘computational problems

##### π‘time efficiency

###### Highlights

Introduction to the concept of prefix sum and its significance.

Explanation of a prefix array as the sum of subarrays of the original array.

Demonstration of constructing a prefix summary for a given array.

The first position in the prefix sum array is the value of the first element.

Calculation of subsequent positions by summing previous values and the current element.

The next value of the prefix sum array is the sum of the last value of the previous array and the current element.

Illustration of how to find the sum of the first four values using the prefix sum array.

Explanation of the efficiency of using a prefix sum array for finding subarray sums.

Comparison of the time complexity between traditional summation and using a prefix sum array.

Example of calculating the sum of subarray [2,3,4] using the prefix sum array.

Demonstration of the subtraction method to find the sum of a specific subarray using the prefix sum array.

The benefit of using a prefix sum array is the quick retrieval of subarray sums.

Discussion on the trade-off of using extra space for the prefix sum array.

Mention of the common usage of prefix sum in algorithmic coding problems.

Promise of future content on practical applications of the prefix sum algorithm.

###### Transcripts

## Browse More Related Video

5.0 / 5 (0 votes)

Thanks for rating: