Introduction to Subsets

Let’s go over the Subsets pattern, its real-world applications, and some problems we can solve with it.

About the pattern

The subsets pattern is an important strategy to solve coding problems that involve exploring all possible combinations of elements from a given data structure. This pattern can be useful when dealing with sets containing unique elements or arrays/lists that may contain duplicate elements. It is used to generate all specific subsets based on the conditions that the problem provides us.

The common method used is to build the subsets incrementally, including or excluding each element of the original data structure, depending on the constraints of the problem. This process is continued for the remaining elements until all desired subsets have been generated.

The following illustration shows how subsets are made from a given array:

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