Minimum Number of Transfers to Settle Debts - Google Top Interview Questions

Problem Statement :

You are given a two-dimensional list of integers transfers containing [source, dest, amount], which means that person source lent person dest a dollar amount equal to amount. Return the minimum number of person-to-person transfers that are required so that all debts are paid.


n ≤ 13 where n is the number of participants

Example 1


transfers = [

    [0, 1, 50],

    [1, 2, 50]





Person 0 gave person 1 $50 and person 1 gave person 2 $50.

So person 2 can directly give $50 to person 0.

Solution :


                        Solution in C++ :

int solve(vector<vector<int>>& transfers) {
    map<int, int> M;
    for (auto e : transfers) {
        M[e[0]] -= e[2];
        M[e[1]] += e[2];
    vector<int> arr;
    for (auto e : M) {
        if (e.second) {
    int n = arr.size();
    int i, j;
    vector<int> parts;
    for (i = 1; i < (1 << n); ++i) {
        int s = 0;
        for (j = 0; j < n; ++j) {
            if (i & (1 << j)) {
                s += arr[j];
        if (s == 0) {
    vector<int> dp(1 << n, 1e9);
    dp[0] = 0;
    for (i = 1; i < (1 << n); ++i) {
        for (int x : parts) {
            if ((i & x) == x) {
                dp[i] = min(dp[i], dp[i - x] + __builtin_popcount(x) - 1);
    return dp[(1 << n) - 1];

                        Solution in Python : 
class Solution:
    def solve(self, transfers):
        acc = Counter()

        for u, v, val in transfers:
            acc[u] += val
            acc[v] -= val

        def search(rem):

            if len(rem) == 2:
                if rem[0] == 0:
                    return 0
                return 1

            curr = rem[0]

            if curr == 0:
                return search(rem[1:])

            best = 30

            for i, val in enumerate(rem[1:]):
                if (curr < 0 and val > 0) or (curr > 0 and val < 0):
                    next_state = tuple(
                        sorted(rem[1 : i + 1] + rem[i + 2 :] + (val + curr,), key=abs)
                    best = min(best, 1 + search(next_state))

            return best

        return search(tuple(sorted(acc.values(), key=abs)))

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