How to implement a divide and conquer algorithm in Java

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Divide and conquer is a powerful algorithmic technique that involves breaking a problem down into smaller subproblems and solving each one independently. The solutions to the subproblems are then combined to obtain a solution for the original problem. This technique can be used to solve a wide range of problems, from sorting and searching to mathematical computations. In this blog post, we will explore how to implement a divide and conquer algorithm in Java.

One of the most common applications of divide and conquer is in sorting algorithms. A classic example is the merge sort algorithm, which works by dividing an array into two halves and recursively sorting each half. The two sorted halves are then merged back together to form a final sorted array. Here is an example of the merge sort algorithm implemented in Java:

public class MergeSort {
    public static void mergeSort(int[] arr) {
        if (arr.length < 2) return;

        int mid = arr.length / 2;
        int[] left = Arrays.copyOfRange(arr, 0, mid);
        int[] right = Arrays.copyOfRange(arr, mid, arr.length);


        merge(arr, left, right);

    private static void merge(int[] arr, int[] left, int[] right) {
        int i = 0, j = 0, k = 0;

        while (i < left.length && j < right.length) {
            if (left[i] < right[j]) {
                arr[k++] = left[i++];
            } else {
                arr[k++] = right[j++];

        while (i < left.length) {
            arr[k++] = left[i++];

        while (j < right.length) {
            arr[k++] = right[j++];

Another example of a divide and conquer algorithm is the quick sort algorithm, which works by selecting a pivot element and partitioning the array into two subarrays: one containing elements less than the pivot and the other containing elements greater than the pivot. The pivot element is then in its final position in the sorted array. The two subarrays are then recursively sorted in the same way. Here is an example of the quick sort algorithm implemented in Java:

public class QuickSort {
    public static void quickSort(int[] arr) {
        quickSort(arr, 0, arr.length - 1);

    private static void quickSort(int[] arr, int low, int high) {
        if (low < high) {
            int pivotIndex = partition(arr, low, high);
            quickSort(arr, low, pivotIndex - 1);
            quickSort(arr, pivotIndex + 1, high);

    private static int partition(int[] arr, int low, int high) {
        int pivot = arr[high];
        int i = low - 1;

        for (int j = low; j < high; j++) {
            if (arr[j] <= pivot) {
                swap(arr, i, j);
        swap(arr, i + 1, high);
        return i + 1;

    private static void swap(int[] arr, int i , int j) {
int temp = arr[i];
arr[i] = arr[j];
arr[j] = temp;

Divide and conquer can also be used to solve problems in mathematical computation such as the Karatsuba algorithm for multiplying large numbers, or the fast Fourier transform algorithm for signal processing.

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