Cycle Start
by Isai Damier, Android Engineer @ Google

# Author: Isai Damier
# Title: Singly Linked List
# Project: geekviewpoint
# Package: datastructure
# Description: A LinkedList is a data structure that allows access
#   to a collection of data using pointers/references. While an
#   array can also be defined as above, LinkedLists and arrays differ
#   in how they are stored in memory and in the operations they
#   allow. Unlike an array that must be stored in a block of memory,
#   the nodes of a LinkedList can be stored anywhere because each
#   node has a reference to the node that succeeds it. Because the
#   nodes are stored so loosely, inserting nodes into a LinkedList
#   is easy; whereas in an array, all the succeeding elements must
#   be shifted. Of course, insertion also means changing the size of
#   the array, which means creating the entire array anew.
#   Perhaps the greatest beauty of LinkedList is that it allows
#   accessing an entire sequence of nodes using only one variable:
#   a reference to the first node in the sequence.
#   Countless operations can be performed on LinkedLists. Following
#   are a few, ranging from the common to the very interesting.
  # Time Complexity of Solution:
  #   O(n).
  # Description: If this LinkedList contains a loop/cycle, indicate
  #   the node where the cycle/loop begins. Understand that this
  #   LinkedList is not necessary circular: maybe it is; may be it
  #   is not. The LinkedList may be P-shaped. This algorithm will
  #   work either way.
  # Technical Details: This algorithm was invented by R. W. Floyd.
  #   The basis for the algorithm is that if a path eventually
  #   loops, then two travelers walking at different speed will
  #   keep meeting each other.
  #   Particularly. Let x and y be travelers such that y is walking
  #   twice as fast as x (i.e. y = 2x). Further, let s be the place
  #   where x and y first started walking at the same time. Then
  #   when x and y meet again, the distance from s to the start of
  #   the loop is the exact same distance from the present meeting
  #   place of x and y to the start of the loop.
  #   BTY: reversing a P-shaped LinkedList still results in a
  #     P-shaped LinkedList with the same self.head and linear section;
  #     only the direction of the circular portion is reversed.
 import collections
class SinglyLinkedList( object ):

  def __init__( self ):
    self.head , self.tail = None, None

  def cycleStart( self ) :
    if None == self.head or None ==
      return None

    # slow and fast both started at head after one step,
    # slow is at and fast is at
    slow =
    fast =
    # each keep walking until they meet again.
    while slow != fast:
      slow =
        fast =
      except AttributeError:
        return None # no cycle if NoneType reached

    # from self.head to beginning of loop is same as from fast to
    # beginning of loop
    slow = self.head
    while slow != fast:
      slow =
      fast =

    return slow # beginning of loop

class Node( object ):

  def __init__( self, data, next = None ): = data = next
import unittest
from algorithms.SinglyLinkedList import SinglyLinkedList
import random

class Test( unittest.TestCase ):
  # Test of cycleStart method, of class SinglyLinkedList.
  def testCycleStart( self ):
    tape = [9, 4, 5, 2, 1, 12, 6, 7, 4, 8, 3, 0, 16, 19, 11]
    linkedList = SinglyLinkedList()
    for i in range( len( tape ) ):
      linkedList.addToTail( tape[i] )

    cy = linkedList.find( 18 )
    linkedList.tail.right = cy
    self.assertEquals( cy, linkedList.cycleStart() )