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Program: Identify loop/cycle in a LinkedList.

Problem Description:

Write a simple code to identify loop or cycle in a linked list.

In general, the last node is null in a Linked list. A loop/cycle exists in a LinkedList when no null is reached as we traverse throughout the LinkedList.

There are various ways to identify loop/cycle in a linked list.

The below diagram illustrates linked list loop/cycle:

Approach 1: Using Hashing

  • Traverse the linked list nodes and keep adding the node addresses in a Hash Table.
  • At any point, if NULL is reached then the loop/cycle doesnot exist, return false.
  • If next of current node points to any of the previously stored nodes in Hash Table, then return true.

The disadvantage with above approach is it requires extra storage to keep track of hashes.

Approach 2: Floyd’s Cycle-Finding Algorithm

  • Traverse linked list nodes using two pointers.
  • Move first pointer by one step and second pointer by two step.
  • If the pointers meet at the same node then there is a loop.
  • At any point, if NULL is reached then the loop/cycle doesnot exist, return false.

package com.java2novice.algos;

import java.util.HashSet;
import java.util.Set;

public class IdentifyLinkedListLoop {

    static class Node {
        int data;
        Node next;
        Node(int tmp) {data = tmp;}

    public static void main(String[] a){

        Node n1 = new Node(34);
        Node n2 = new Node(25);
        Node n3 = new Node(31);
        Node n4 = new Node(56);
        Node n5 = new Node(45); = n2; = n3; = n4; = n5; = n3;

        System.out.println("Is loop detected: "+identifyLoopV2(n1));

    static boolean identifyLoopV1(Node head) {
         * In this method, we will keep track of traversed node hash and check with each traversing node.
         * If any match found, then we noticed Loop.
         * If we get hash as null, then we didnt find loop.
        Set<Node> hash = new HashSet<>();
        while (head != null){
            if(hash.contains(head)) {
                return Boolean.TRUE;
            head =;
        return Boolean.FALSE;

    static boolean identifyLoopV2(Node head) {

         * In this method, we will keep track of two pointers.
         * One pointer moves one step at a time and second one two steps.
         * If both pointers are same at any iteration, then the loop exists.
        Node slowMv = head;
        Node fastMv = head;
        while (slowMv != null && fastMv != null && != null) {
            slowMv =;
            fastMv =;
            if(slowMv == fastMv) {
                return Boolean.TRUE;
        return Boolean.FALSE;

Is loop detected: true
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  31. Write a program to check the given number is binary number or not?
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  36. Write a program to get distinct word list from the given file.
  37. Write a program to get a line with max word count from the given file.
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  48. Implement Binary Search Tree (BST) Level order traversal (breadth first).
  49. Implement Binary Search Tree (BST) pre-order traversal (depth first).
  50. Implement Binary Search Tree (BST) in-order traversal (depth first).
  51. Implement Binary Search Tree (BST) post-order traversal (depth first).
  52. How to check the given Binary Tree is Binary Search Tree (BST) or not?
  53. How to delete a node from Binary Search Tree (BST)?
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Knowledge Centre
Can interface be final?
No. We can not instantiate interfaces, so in order to make interfaces useful we must create subclasses. The final keyword makes a class unable to be extended.
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I'm Nataraja Gootooru, programmer by profession and passionate about technologies. All examples given here are as simple as possible to help beginners. The source code is compiled and tested in my dev environment.

If you come across any mistakes or bugs, please email me to [email protected].

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