Interview Question: Finding Maximum

Sample Question #268 (programming – C/C++)
Write a one-line C or C++ statement that stores in x the larger of two numbers, x and y, without using the if statement. (If x=y, return x.)
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6 Responses to Interview Question: Finding Maximum

  1. Brett says:

    x = (x>=y) ? x : y;
    Comment: This question would be trivial for people familiar with C or C++. The in-line condition statement is used extensively by experienced programmers and is something every C/C++ programmer should know.

  2. Brett says:

    BTW, when you’re asked to write sample programming code, don’t forget any end-of-statement semicolons or other elements that make a statement in the chosen language valid. On the other hand, you need not initialize or even declare variables if they’re clearl from the context, as in this sample question.

  3. Nathan says:

    for this case
    z = std::max(x, y);
    clearly defines the intent, without resorting to the tenary operator. ?: has it’s uses but the min/max pattern should not be one of them.

  4. jixiang says:

    How about
    x = ( x + y + abs( x – y ) ) / 2

  5. Nathan says:

    That doesn’t work if the intermediate overflows. Your algorithm produces -1 for:
    int x = INT_MAX;int y = INT_MAX – 1;

  6. Suwandi says:

    I’m not that familiar with C++. I guess this would do for both C++ and Matlabx = (x>=y)*x + (x<y)*y;

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