PPSUM - Editorial

Problem Link:


Author: Pavel Sheftelevich
Tester: Kanstantsin Sokal
Editorialist: Sunny Aggarwal




Implementation, Basic maths.

Problem Statement

Consider F(N) a function denoting the sum of first N natural numbers. Given N and D, Apply function F, D times and calculate the following value F(F(F( ... D times(N)))).

Brief Explanation

Use well known recurrence for the sum of first N natural numbers i.e N * (N+1) / 2 and calculate the value by applying it D times.


Sum of first N natural number is given by N * (N+1) / 2. Using this, we can calculate the required answer as follows:

Iterative Code

// helper function to find the sum of first N natural numbers
int sum_of_first_N_natural_numbers(int N) {
    return (N * (N+1) / 2);
// computing required answer
int F(int N, int D) {
    while(D --) { applying function D times
        N = sum_of_first_N_natural_numbers(N);

Recursive Code

int F(int  N, int D) {
    if( D == 0 ) {
        return N; // don't need to apply function further as D = 0
    return F(N * (N+1)/2, D-1); // apply function F, D-1 times on the new value of N.

Note that constraints in this are quite low i.e N \le 4 \And D \le 4. Therefore, an efficient solution without using the recurrence for first N natural numbers can pass the test data.

Alternatively, We can pre compute the sum of first N natural numbers in a table and can make use of table for faster solution.

C ++ Code:

const int maxn = 1186570;
int sumN[maxn+10];
// pre-computation of sum of first N natural numbers 
void pre() {
    for(int i=1; i<=maxn; i++) {
        sumN[i] = sumN[i-1] + i;
int main() {
    int T; cin >> T;
    while( T-- ) {
        int N;
        int D;
        cin >> N >> D;
        int ans = N;
        while(D -- ) {
            ans = sumN[ans];
        cout << ans << "\n";
    return 0;

Time Complexity

O(D), O(maxn), O(D*maxn) per test case.

Space Complexity

variable: O(1) to O(maxn).

Similar Problems



Setter’s solution can be found here
Tester’s solution can be found here

Feel free to post comments if anything is not clear to you.

1 Like

The recursive code given here is a bit wrong and it should have been:-
int sum(int d,int n)
return n;
return sum(d-1,n*(n+1)/2);