C# || Unique Paths III – How To Get The Number Of Paths From Start To End In Grid Matrix Using C#

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The following is a module with functions which demonstrates how to get the number of paths from start to end in a grid matrix using C#.

1. Unique Paths III – Problem Statement

You are given an m x n integer array grid where grid[i][j] could be:

  • 1 representing the starting square. There is exactly one starting square.
  • 2 representing the ending square. There is exactly one ending square.
  • 0 representing empty squares we can walk over.
  • -1 representing obstacles that we cannot walk over.

Return the number of 4-directional walks from the starting square to the ending square, that walk over every non-obstacle square exactly once.

Example 1:

Example 1

Input: grid = [[1,0,0,0],[0,0,0,0],[0,0,2,-1]]
Output: 2
Explanation: We have the following two paths:
1. (0,0),(0,1),(0,2),(0,3),(1,3),(1,2),(1,1),(1,0),(2,0),(2,1),(2,2)
2. (0,0),(1,0),(2,0),(2,1),(1,1),(0,1),(0,2),(0,3),(1,3),(1,2),(2,2)

Example 2:

Example 2

Input: grid = [[1,0,0,0],[0,0,0,0],[0,0,0,2]]
Output: 4
Explanation: We have the following four paths:
1. (0,0),(0,1),(0,2),(0,3),(1,3),(1,2),(1,1),(1,0),(2,0),(2,1),(2,2),(2,3)
2. (0,0),(0,1),(1,1),(1,0),(2,0),(2,1),(2,2),(1,2),(0,2),(0,3),(1,3),(2,3)
3. (0,0),(1,0),(2,0),(2,1),(2,2),(1,2),(1,1),(0,1),(0,2),(0,3),(1,3),(2,3)
4. (0,0),(1,0),(2,0),(2,1),(1,1),(0,1),(0,2),(0,3),(1,3),(1,2),(2,2),(2,3)

Example 3:

Example 3

Input: grid = [[0,1],[2,0]]
Output: 0
Explanation: There is no path that walks over every empty square exactly once.
Note that the starting and ending square can be anywhere in the grid.

2. Unique Paths III – Solution

The following is a solution which demonstrates how to get the number of paths from start to end in a grid matrix.

This solution uses Depth First Search when looking for paths.

In this solution, we find the starting coordinates and count the number of empty cells.

Then we do DFS, marking the visited positions and keeping track of the number of steps. If we reach the end and the number of steps matches the number of empty cells, we found a path.

The highlighted lines are sections of interest to look out for.

The code is heavily commented, so no further insight is necessary. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Once compiled, you should get this as your output for the example cases:


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