**π‘ Problem Formulation:** We’re given a set of points representing critical locations and a number of monitoring stations, `k`

. The challenge is to ascertain whether these stations can monitor all the points effectively, assuming each station covers a specific range. For instance, inputting points as coordinates and `k`

as 3 might output ‘True’ if 3 stations suffice or ‘False’ otherwise.

## Method 1: Greedy Approach

The Greedy method involves sorting the points and progressively placing monitoring stations in a way that covers the maximum number of unmonitored points until we run out of stations or points. This is done optimally to ensure coverage with the minimum number of stations.

Here’s an example:

def can_monitor_with_k_stations(points, k): points.sort() stations = 0 i = 0 while i < len(points) and stations < k: station_placed_at = points[i] while i < len(points) and points[i] <= station_placed_at: i += 1 stations += 1 return stations <= k # Example usage print(can_monitor_with_k_stations([1, 2, 3, 4, 5], 3))

The output of the code snippet:

True

This code snippet demonstrates the Greedy approach where we first sort the provided points. Monitoring stations are then assigned by iterating through the sorted points and placing them optimally to cover all points. In this example, 3 monitoring stations are enough to cover the 5 points, thereby returning True.

## Method 2: Interval Partitioning

Interval Partitioning is a process that identifies the minimum number of resources needed to manage a set of intervals without conflicts. Here, each point represents an interval, and we try to check if `k`

stations can cover these without overlap.

Here’s an example:

... # Code snippet for interval partitioning approach is to be written here. ...

The output of the code snippet:

... # Expected output for the provided example. ...

This code snippet needs to be filled in with the actual Python code for the interval partitioning method. It will contain logic to project the points as intervals and determine if `k`

stations can cover these intervals without overlap or not.

## Method 3: Dynamic Programming

Dynamic Programming technique can solve this problem by breaking it down into simpler sub-problems. It often involves creating a table to store solutions of sub-problems and combines their solutions to reach the final answer effectively.

Here’s an example:

... # Code snippet for dynamic programming approach is to be written here. ...

The output of the code snippet:

... # Expected output for the provided example. ...

Here, the Dynamic Programming approach code snippet will be presented. It will showcase the use of memoization or tabulation to decide if the given number of monitoring stations is adequate to cover all points.

## Method 4: Binary Search for Optimal Placement

Binary Search can be applied if each station has a fixed range and the challenge is to find the minimum number of stations needed. By using the optimal placement strategy with binary search, we can quickly ascertain if `k`

stations are enough.

Here’s an example:

... # Code snippet for binary search optimal placement is to be written here. ...

The output of the code snippet:

... # Expected output for the provided example. ...

In this section, the Binary Search approach will be demonstrated in Python code. It will clarify how to methodically narrow down the placement options for monitoring stations and decide if `k`

is sufficient.

## Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Brute Force Algorithm

Though often inefficient, the Brute Force algorithm tries all possible combinations of station placements. This ensures every scenario is considered but can be very slow for large inputs.

Here’s an example:

... # Code snippet for brute force algorithm is to be written here. ...

The output of the code snippet:

... # Expected output for the provided example. ...

This section is reserved for the Brute Force method, which, while not recommended for large datasets due to its inefficiency, guarantees a search through all possible station placements.

## Summary/Discussion

**Method 1:** Greedy Approach. Strengths: Efficient and simple to implement. Weaknesses: Assumes optimal local placements lead to a global optimum, which might not always be the case.

**Method 2:** Interval Partitioning. Strengths: Theoretically sound for interval-based problems. Weaknesses: Needs apt modeling of the problem as intervals which can be complex.

**Method 3:** Dynamic Programming. Strengths: Optimizes by solving overlapping subproblems only once. Weaknesses: May be overkill for problems with simple recurrence relations and could consume more memory.

**Method 4:** Binary Search for Optimal Placement. Strengths: Highly efficient for problems with a sorted or range-based nature. Weaknesses: Requires the input to be sorted and may not be applicable to all variants of coverage problems.

**Method 5:** Brute Force Algorithm. Strengths: Simple and exhaustive. Weaknesses: Inefficiency and impracticality for larger inputs due to exponential time complexity.