Medium Difficulty

Tow Pointers

Hash Table

medium

To detect the start node of a cycle in a linked list, we can use the two-pointer technique. We use a slow pointer and a fast pointer to traverse the linked list. When the two pointers meet at a node, we know that there is a cycle in the linked list. The next step is to find the start node of the cycle.

Here is one way to implement the detect cycle start node function in JavaScript:

``````function detectCycleStartNode(head) {
let hasCycle = false;

while (fast !== null && fast.next !== null) {
slow = slow.next;
fast = fast.next.next;

if (slow === fast) {
hasCycle = true;
break;
}
}

if (!hasCycle) {
return null;
}

while (slow !== fast) {
slow = slow.next;
fast = fast.next;
}

return slow;
}``````

In this implementation, we use two pointers: `slow` and `fast`. Both pointers are initially set to the head of the list. We then iterate through the list using a while loop, updating the pointers as follows:

• Move the slow pointer to the next node.
• Move the fast pointer to the next node twice as fast.
• If the slow and fast pointers meet at a node, set the hasCycle flag to true and break out of the loop.
• If the hasCycle flag is not set to true at the end of the first loop, we know that there is no cycle in - - the linked list and we can return null.

If there is a cycle in the linked list, we reset the slow pointer to the head of the list and iterate through the list again using a while loop. This time, we move both the slow and fast pointers one node at a time until they meet again at the start node of the cycle.

The time complexity of this implementation is O(n), where n is the number of nodes in the linked list, since we need to iterate through all the nodes once. The space complexity is O(1), since we are only using a constant amount of extra memory to store the pointers and flags.