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stuxnat
stuxnat

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String Compression Algorithm: JavaScript

I recently completed a coding challenge. One of the tasks was to write a string compression algorithm. This is a very popular algorithm, and I will be writing about how to solve it here.

The task:
Given a string of letters, if there are consecutive repeating characters, append the character followed by the number of times it is seen. If the character appears only once, do not include a number.
Ex: compress a string 'aabbcddd', to 'a2b2cd3'

The first steps we'd have to take are:

  1. Split the string into an array to be able to iterate through it
  2. Create a new string, which would hold the compressed version
  3. Create a for loop to iterate through the first string
function compress(string){
let compressed = ""
let stringArray = string.split("")
for (let i = 0; i < stringArray.length; i++){

     }
}
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Next, we would need to keep track of several things within the for loop:

  1. The current count of the consecutive letters with each iteration
  2. The letter that is being counted.

The function will now look like this:

function compress(string){
let compressed = ""
let stringArray = string.split("")
for (let i = 0; i < stringArray.length; i++){
     let count = 1 
     let letter = stringArray[i]
     }
}

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We will need to create a while loop to compare letters. The loop will have two conditions: 1) if i is less than the length of stringArray -1, 2) if the current letter in the iteration is the same as the neighboring letter

When both conditions are met, both the count and index positions will be incremented

function compress(string){
let compressed = ""
let stringArray = string.split("")
for (let i = 0; i < stringArray.length; i++){
     let count = 1 
     let letter = stringArray[i]
    while (i < stringArray.length - 1 && stringArray[i] === stringArray[i + 1] {
   count++
   i++
  }
 }
}
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For the final part, we want to add the letter and the number of times it appears to the compressed string. Then we want to return the string.

function compress(string){
let compressed = ""
let stringArray = string.split("")
for (let i = 0; i < stringArray.length; i++){
     let count = 1 
     let letter = stringArray[i]
    while (i < stringArray.length - 1 && stringArray[i] === stringArray[i + 1] {
   count++
   i++
  }
if (count === 1){
 compressed += letter 
  } else { 
  compressed =+ letter + count}
 }
}

return compressed
}
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aaaand done!

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