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Last Updated: 15 Jan, 2021
Find Minimum in Rotated Sorted Array
Problem statement

You are given an array 'arr' of size 'n' having unique elements that has been sorted in ascending order and rotated between 1 and 'n' times which is unknown.

The rotation involves shifting every element to the right, with the last element moving to the first position. For example, if 'arr' = [1, 2, 3, 4] was rotated one time, it would become [4, 1, 2, 3].

Your task is to find the minimum number in this array.

Note :
All the elements in the array are distinct. 

Example :
Input: arr = [3,4,5,1,2]

Output: 1

Explanation: The original array was [1,2,3,4,5] and it was rotated 3 times.

Input Format :
The first line contains an integer 'n', the size of the array.
The second line contains 'n' space-separated integers.

Output Format :
The only line contains the minimum number in the given array. 

Note :
You don’t need to print anything; It has already been taken care of. Just implement the given function.


The basic approach to find the minimum element is to traverse the whole array and keep updating the minimum value as we traverse that array.

  • This is somewhat similar to a linear search. Start by assigning the first element(arr[0]) of the array to a variable named min.
  • Then iterate the array using a variable i from 1 till n and check if the current element(arr[i]) is less than min. If arr[i] is less than min then assign arr[i] to min.
  • Now when we come out of this loop, min will give us the minimum element, which is our answer.

Example: 3 4 1 2

Initialize min = 3 and start traversing the array. When we reach 4 we see that 4 > 3 hence we don’t update min. Now we see that 1 < 3, therefore we update min. Now min = 1. Now finally we reach 2 and we see that 2 > 1, hence we don’t update min. Now we have reached the end of the array, hence we print our answer(min), which is equal to 1.