  Find minimum distance between two words (order preserved) in a big string?

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For
e.g 1. "hello how are you" - distance between "hello" and "you" is 3.
e.g 2. "hello how are hello you" - distance is 1
e.g 3. "you are hello" - distance is -1. Order of "hello" and "you" should be preserved.
e.g 4. "hello how are hello" - distance is -1 since "you" did not occur even once. posted Oct 30, 2015

+1 vote

public static int distance(String str,String a,String b){
int aIndex=-1;
int bIndex=-1;
int minDistance=Integer.MAX_VALUE;
String[] aS=str.toLowerCase().split("[ \t]+");
int i=0;
for(String t:aS){
if(t.equals(a)){
aIndex=i;
}
if(t.equals(b)){
bIndex=i;
}
if(aIndex!=-1 && bIndex!=-1){
minDistance= minDistance > Math.abs(bIndex-aIndex) ? bIndex-aIndex : minDistance;
}
i++;
}
if(aIndex ==-1 || bIndex==-1)
return -1;
else
return minDistance;
} answer Nov 5, 2015
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Example:
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