Source: 253. Meeting Rooms II

**1. Understand the problem**

We want to organize the meeting into rooms such that the number of rooms needed is as small as possible.

**2. First thought**

It is easy to think that we can sort the meetings time and start traversing. When we see that 2 intervals overlap with each other, create a new room.

*This will not work*. Why? Since this could make more rooms than actual needs.

For example: intervals = [[0, 5], [0, 30], [6, 10]].

Using this first approach, we will create 3 rooms while we actually just need 2.

**3. Solution**

We can use heap to maintain the end time (the ending time of the last meeting) of a room.

So, when consider a new meeting, we just want to put it into the room with the soonest ending time.

* Note*: We still need to sort the meetings in ascending order of start time followed by ascending order of end time.

Here is the code:

```
class Solution {
public int minMeetingRooms(int[][] intervals) {
/**
We need to be able to determine when it is a good time to increase the counting of the conference rooms
[[0, 30], [0, 5], [10, 15], [10, 12], [13, 32], [31, 35]]
room 1: [0, 30],
room 2: [0, 5], [10, 15], [31, 35]
room 3: [10, 12], [13, 20], [21, 32],
Can we use a heap to keep track of the room with the earliest available time?
- if an interval cannot be fitted in the room at the top of the heap, it cannot be fitted in any other room,
=> a new room needed
- return the length of the queue at the end of the algorithm
Test:
[[0, 30], [0, 5], [10, 15], [10, 12], [13, 32], [31, 35]]
[0, 30]
Heap: [room 1: 30],
[0, 5]
Heap: [room 2: 5, room 1: 30],
[10, 15]
Heap: [room 2: 15, room 1: 30],
[10, 12]
Heap: [room 3: 12, room 2: 15, room 1: 30],
[13, 32]
Heap: [room 2: 15, room 3: 32, room 1: 30],
[31, 35]
Heap: [room 2: 35, room 3: 32, room 1: 30]
return 3
// sort first to maintain the greediness
Proof of correctness:
1. Why using a heap works to maintain the minimum number of conference rooms?
Since we want to have the number of conference roomes as small as possible, we want to add the meeting to the soonest room available instead of creating a new room.
Only create a new room if the meeting cannot be fit into any previou rooms.
Also, note that since this is a min-heap, the ending time of the room at the peek of the heap is already the smallest one, therefore, if the current meeting cannot be fitted into the one at the peek, there is no room existing that could fit the meeting. So, creating a new room is neccessary.
2. Why is sorting neccessary?
This is to make sure that the meeting comes in an ascending order of start and end time. Takes the second case as example, [[7,10],[2,4]], without sorting, 2 rooms will be created.
We will sort the intervals in the ascending order of start time followed by the ascending order of end time.
*/
Arrays.sort(intervals, (a, b) -> a[0] == b[0]? a[1] - b[1]: a[0] - b[0]);
PriorityQueue<Integer> pq = new PriorityQueue<>();
pq.add(intervals[0][1]);
for (int i = 1; i < intervals.length; i++) {
int[] interval = intervals[i];
if (interval[0] >= pq.peek()) {
// add to the current room
pq.remove();
pq.add(interval[1]);
} else {
// create new room
pq.add(interval[1]);
}
}
return pq.size();
}
}
```

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