Scala algorithm: Find combinations adding up to N (non-unique)

Published , last updated

Algorithm goal

Find combinations of an array that sum up to N. Numbers are not unique. Support large inputs. Represent the set of non-unique values as a multiset, ie Map[Int, Count], where type Count = Int. For the unique items version, see: FindCombinationsAddingUpToUnique.

Test cases in Scala

This algorithm comes with test cases.
To see the free test cases for all our algos, as well as run them in our TDD IDE, Register (free).

Algorithm in Scala

9 lines of Scala (version 2.13), showing how concise Scala can be!

Get the full algorithm Scala algorithms logo, maze part, which looks quirky!


'Unlimited Scala Algorithms' gives you access to all the Scala Algorithms!

Upon purchase, you will be able to Register an account to access all the algorithms on multiple devices.

Stripe logo


The Scala solution is quite elegant and expressive as well as stack-safe due to the fact that there is no recursion (many languages have a solution but the solution is often using recursion).

Scala provides a 'combinations' method on Array, given a selection length; then the only thing we need to vary is the selection length, which we can produce using a Lazy List. Then, using a for-comprehension and a guard we check if the target of what we are looking for is met, and return that combination if it is.In generating the combination, we use a way to group items, and the extract the count of members in each group. (this is © from

Scala concepts & Hints

  1. For-comprehension

    The for-comprehension is highly important syntatic enhancement in functional programming languages.

    val Multiplier = 10
    val result: List[Int] = for {
      num <- List(1, 2, 3)
      anotherNum <-
        List(num * Multiplier - 1, num * Multiplier, num * Multiplier + 1)
    } yield anotherNum + 1
    assert(result == List(10, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22, 30, 31, 32))
  2. Lazy List

    The 'LazyList' type (previously known as 'Stream' in Scala) is used to describe a potentially infinite list that evaluates only when necessary ('lazily').

  3. View

    The .view syntax creates a structure that mirrors another structure, until "forced" by an eager operation like .toList, .foreach, .forall, .count.

Scala Algorithms: The most comprehensive library of algorithms in standard pure-functional Scala

Think in Scala & master the highest paid programming language in the US

Scala is used at many places, such as AirBnB, Apple, Bank of America, BBC, Barclays, Capital One, Citibank, Coursera, eBay, JP Morgan, LinkedIn, Morgan Stanley, Netflix, Singapore Exchange, Twitter.

Study our 106 Scala Algorithms: 6 fully free, 60 published & 46 upcoming

Fully unit-tested, with explanations and relevant concepts; new algorithms published about once a week.

  1. Find minimum missing positive number in a sequence
  2. Longest increasing sub-sequence length
  3. Compute the length of longest valid parentheses
  4. Check if an array is a palindrome
  5. Monitor success rate of a process that may fail
  6. Find combinations adding up to N (non-unique)
  7. Remove duplicates from an unsorted List
  8. Find combinations adding up to N (unique)
  9. Find k closest elements to a value in a sorted Array
  10. Make a queue using stacks (Lists in Scala)
  11. Single-elimination tournament tree
  12. Quick Sort sorting algorithm in pure immutable Scala
  13. Compute a Roman numeral for an Integer, and vice-versa
  14. Matching parentheses algorithm with foldLeft and a state machine
  15. Traverse a tree Breadth-First, immutably
  16. Read a matrix as a spiral
  17. Remove duplicates from a sorted list (state machine)
  18. Merge Sort: stack-safe, tail-recursive, in pure immutable Scala, N-way
  19. Binary search a generic Array
  20. Merge Sort: in pure immutable Scala
  21. Make a queue using Maps
  22. Is an Array a permutation?
  23. Count number of contiguous countries by colors
  24. Add numbers without using addition (plus sign)
  25. Tic Tac Toe MinMax solve
  26. Run-length encoding (RLE) Encoder
  27. Print Alphabet Diamond
  28. Balanced parentheses algorithm with tail-call recursion optimisation
  29. Reverse a String's words efficiently
  30. Count number of changes (manipulations) needed to make an anagram with foldLeft and a MultiSet
  31. Count passing cars
  32. Counting inversions of a sequence (array) using a Merge Sort
  33. Compute nth row of Pascal's triangle
  34. Run-length encoding (RLE) Decoder
  35. Check if a number is a palindrome
  36. In a range of numbers, count the numbers divisible by a specific integer
  37. Find the index of a substring ('indexOf')
  38. Reshape a matrix
  39. Closest pair of coordinates in a 2D plane
  40. Find the contiguous slice with the minimum average
  41. Compute maximum sum of subarray (Kadane's algorithm)
  42. Binary search in a rotated sorted array
  43. Rotate Array right in pure-functional Scala - using an unusual immutable efficient approach
  44. Length of the longest common substring
  45. Tic Tac Toe board check
  46. Find an unpaired number in an array
  47. Check if a String is a palindrome
  48. Count binary gap size of a number using tail recursion
  49. Remove duplicates from a sorted list (Sliding)
  50. Find sub-array with the maximum sum
  51. Find the minimum absolute difference of two partitions
  52. Find maximum potential profit from an array of stock price
  53. Fibonacci in purely functional immutable Scala
  54. Fizz Buzz in purely functional immutable Scala
  55. Count factors/divisors of an integer
  56. Compute single-digit sum of digits
  57. Traverse a tree Depth-First
  58. Reverse bits of an integer
  59. QuickSelect Selection Algorithm (kth smallest item/order statistic)
  60. Rotate a matrix by 90 degrees clockwise

Explore the 21 most useful Scala concepts

To save you going through various tutorials, we cherry-picked the most useful Scala concepts in a consistent form.

  1. Class Inside Class
  2. Class Inside Def
  3. Collect
  4. Def Inside Def
  5. Drop, Take, dropRight, takeRight
  6. foldLeft and foldRight
  7. For-comprehension
  8. Lazy List
  9. Option Type
  10. Ordering
  11. Partial Function
  12. Pattern Matching
  13. Range
  14. scanLeft and scanRight
  15. Sliding / Sliding Window
  16. Stack Safety
  17. State machine
  18. Tail Recursion
  19. Type Class
  20. View
  21. Zip

Register now (free)