Garland (POJ 1759)

This is an insteresting problem. Given a iteration formular that defines the heights of serveral points and the first point's position, you are asked to give the lowest possible height of last point that let none of the points falls below zero height.

The formular looks like:

The key to this problem is that when using binary guess, we do not guess value of the last point, instead, we guess on the height of second point as if the first two points' heights have been decided all heights of following points including the last are decided. It is a good solution because it is not convenient to calculate the heights of points between with the first and last points but after transform the formular above, we can get:

Note to pass all tests, we have to set the search range correctly. At first the second light may be at a higher position than the first one, we must give a high enough upper bound. Also, consider into the float number's caculate precision problem, we should allow a guess that is a little below zero as the height of second point, so we set -1 as lower bound.

import java.util.*;

public class Garland {

    private static boolean greaterThanZero(double[] height) {
        for (int i = 2; i < height.length; i++) {
            height[i] = 2 * height[i - 1] + 2 - height[i - 2];
            if (height[i] < 0) return false;
        return true;
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Scanner in = new Scanner(;
        int N = in.nextInt();
        double[] height = new double[N];
        height[0] = in.nextDouble();

        double l = -1, u = 1016;
        double res = 0;
        for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
            double mid = (u + l) / 2;
            height[1] = mid;
            if (greaterThanZero(height)) {
                u = mid;
                res = height[N - 1];
            } else l = mid;
        System.out.printf("%.2f\n", res);