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Home > C Interview Questions >

Can you tell me how to check whether a linked list is circular ?

Create two pointers, and set both to the start of the list. Update each as follows:
while (pointer1) {
pointer1 = pointer1->next;
pointer2 = pointer2->next;
if (pointer2) pointer2=pointer2->next;
if (pointer1 == pointer2) {
print ("circular");
}
}

If a list is circular, at some point pointer2 will wrap around and be either at the item just before pointer1, or the item before that. Either way, its either 1 or 2 jumps until they meet.
 

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