Java Tricks

Honestly, you should switch to c++. But if you insist on using Java, here are some cool tricks.


Memory allocation is extremely cheap (~1e6 bytes per 1ms) compared to everything else - don’t be afraid to allocate huge arrays. That being said, be careful you don’t hit a MLE.

Be careful of the dimensional order of 2D arrays.

int[][] memory = new int[(int) 1e7][3]

is 10 million arrays of length 3. The slow part of the allocation is due to the need to create 10 million arrays. Reordering the dimensions to become

int[][] memory = new int[3][(int) 1e7]

offers significant performance gains.


Object initialization in Java is extremely expensive. If you have to instantate a great deal (more than 1e6) of relatively simple objects (e.g. points), consider inlining their properties in a large 2D array.

static int[][] objects = new int[2][(int) 1e7];
static int cnt;

static int getObject(int x, int y){
  objects[cnt][0] = x;
  objects[cnt][1] = y;

  return cnt++;

Note the dimensional order of the objects array.

Crafted Inputs

Sometimes you can get TLE if organizers submit specifically crafted inputs to achieve worst-case time complexities for certain data structures. For example, java HashSet hash collisions can make operations O(lg N) instead of O(1). Another example of this can be found in the Arrays.sort method. Certain inputs can trigger the O(N^2) worst case runtime, timing out an otherwise working solution. To mitigate this, you can use java’s TreeSet and TreeMap classes to guarantee an O(lg N) operation. Similarly, you can shuffle your arrays before sorting them.

Note that the Collections.sort method uses mergesort, and thus is safe from crafted inputs (guaranteed O(N lg N) runtime).

Stack Size

Sometimes the default stack size is not enough and will lead to stack overflow exceptions. Luckily, there is a simple way to allocate more memory to the stack by using a constructor for Thread,

Thread(ThreadGroup group, Runnable target, String name, long stackSize)

Just wrap your code around a

new Thread(null, () -> {

  // Your code here
  Scanner in = new Scanner(;
  int n = in.nextInt();

}, "", 100 * 1000 * 1000).start();

and the new Thread created will have access to 100mb of stack.