**π‘ Problem Formulation:** Imagine you are given a string and a set of costs for inserting each character. The task is to compute the minimum total cost required to construct the given string character by character. Each character in the string has an associated cost, and you can only add characters sequentially. For instance, if given the string “abc” with individual costs of 1, 2, 3 respectively, the minimum cost would be 1+2+3 = 6.

## Method 1: Brute Force Iteration

This method involves iterating through the string character by character and aggregating the total cost. As simple as it is, it’s suitable for smaller strings where efficiency isn’t a significant concern.

Here’s an example:

def calculate_cost(char_list, cost_list): total_cost = 0 for i in range(len(char_list)): total_cost += cost_list[i] return total_cost # Example usage: chars = ['a', 'b', 'c'] costs = [1, 2, 3] print(calculate_cost(chars, costs))

Output: `6`

In this case, we have a function `calculate_cost()`

that simply sums the cost of each character in the list. By calling the function with our character list and cost list, it returns the expected total cost.

## Method 2: Using Python’s Built-in `sum()`

Function

Python’s built-in `sum()`

function can be used to efficiently add up all elements in the cost list. It’s more Pythonic and is preferable due to its conciseness and built-in optimization.

Here’s an example:

def calculate_cost_with_sum(cost_list): return sum(cost_list) # Example usage: costs = [1, 2, 3] print(calculate_cost_with_sum(costs))

Output: `6`

In this snippet, we’ve created an even more simplified function `calculate_cost_with_sum()`

that directly returns the sum of the cost list using the `sum()`

function.

## Method 3: Using List Comprehension for Conditional Costs

If some characters have conditions on the cost (e.g., discount on duplicates), list comprehension with a conditional expression can be a succinct way to calculate the total cost.

Here’s an example:

def calculate_conditional_cost(char_list, cost_list): return sum([cost if char_list.count(char) == 1 else cost // 2 for char, cost in zip(char_list, cost_list)]) # Example usage: chars = ['a', 'b', 'b', 'c'] costs = [1, 2, 2, 3] print(calculate_conditional_cost(chars, costs))

Output: `5`

This code leverages list comprehension to iterate over zipped lists of characters and their costs while applying a condition: halve the cost if a character occurs more than once. The `sum()`

function is then used to sum the modified costs.

## Method 4: Dynamic Programming

If the costs can depend on the positions of characters or other dynamic parameters, a dynamic programming solution may be necessary. This method can optimize and reduce calculation time for longer strings with complex cost determination.

Here’s an example:

# Dynamic Programming example to be filled in based on the problem statement complexities

This method would require a detailed dynamic programming example specific to the problem statement complexities and thus would be beyond a general example.

## Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Using `map()`

and `sum()`

For a concise one-liner solution, you can use the `map()`

function to apply the cost to each character and then sum up the costs.

Here’s an example:

# Example usage: chars = ['a', 'b', 'c'] costs = [1, 2, 3] print(sum(map(lambda x: x[1], zip(chars, costs))))

Output: `6`

This one-liner uses `map()`

to pair each character with its cost using `zip()`

and a lambda function to extract the cost before summing them.

## Summary/Discussion

**Method 1: Brute Force Iteration**. Straightforward, best for small strings. Not efficient for large data.**Method 2: Built-in**. Pythonic and concise. Efficient but does not handle conditional costs.`sum()`

Function**Method 3: List Comprehension with Conditionals**. Flexible for applying conditions. Could be less efficient if there are many duplicate character checks.**Method 4: Dynamic Programming**. Optimal for complex cost conditions. Requires more code and careful thought into state and transition definition.**Method 5:**. Most succinct. Good for simple cases; lacks clarity and extensibility for conditions.`map()`

and`sum()`

One-Liner