## Friday, August 23, 2019

### Problem Statement

Given a non-empty binary tree, find the maximum path sum.
For this problem, a path is defined as any sequence of nodes from some starting node to any node in the tree along the parent-child connections. The path must contain at least one node and does not need to go through the root.
Example 1:
```Input: [1,2,3]

1
/ \
2   3

Output: 6
```
Example 2:
```Input: [-10,9,20,null,null,15,7]

-10
/ \
9  20
/  \
15   7

Output: 42```

### Video Tutorial

You can find the detailed video tutorial here

### Thought Process

When dealing with binary tree related problem, traversals using recursion is our friend. It seems we can perform a post-order traversal, and keep track of the maximum sums.

If the path cannot go across root, then in each post-order step, we will have the max_sum_of_the_left_path, max_sum_of_the_right_path, the current_node_value, we simply return and record

single_path_max = max(the current_node_value, max(max_sum_of_the_left_path, max_sum_of_the_right_path) + current_node_value)

However, the problem allows a path that goes through the root, therefore, we need to also record a max between left + current node value + right, i.e.,

global_max = max(single_path_max, max_sum_of_the_left_path + current_node_value + max_sum_of_the_right_path)

One caveat is in your recursion, we should still return the single_path_max. The reason we should not return the global_max is in that case, it will not be a single node to single node path.

### Solutions

#### Post-order recursion

Time Complexity: O(N), each node is visited once
Space Complexity:No extra space is needed other than the recursion function stack