Solution: Binary Tree Maximum Path Sum

Let's solve the Binary Tree Maximum Path Sum problem using the Tree Depth-first Search pattern.


Given the root of a binary tree, return the maximum sum of any non-empty path.

A path in a binary tree is defined as follows:

  • A sequence of nodes in which each pair of adjacent nodes must have an edge connecting them.
    • A node can only be included in a path once at most.
    • Including the root in the path is not compulsory.

You can calculate the path sum by adding up all node values in the path. To solve this problem, calculate the maximum path sum given the root of a binary tree so that there won’t be any greater path than it in the tree.


  • 11\leq Number of nodes in the tree 500\leq500.
  • 1000-1000 \leq Node.value 1000\leq 1000


We’ll start by simplifying the problem. We look at the implementation of the max_contrib(node) function, which takes a node as an argument and computes a maximum contribution that this node and one or none of its subtrees can add, for example:

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