Given a binary tree, print vertical sum of it. Assume, the left and right child of a node makes 45 degree angle with the parent.
This problem can be easily solved with the help of Hashing. The idea is to create an empty map where each key represents the relative horizontal distance of a node from the root node and value in the map maintains sum of all nodes present at same horizontal distance. Then we do a pre-order traversal of the tree and we update the sum for current horizontal distance in the map. For each node, we recurse for its left subtree by decreasing horizontal distance by 1 and recurse for right subtree by increasing horizontal distance by 1.
Below figure shows horizontal distance and level of each node in above binary tree. The final values in the map will be
(horizontal distance -> vertical sum)
-1 -> 9
0 -> 6
1 -> 11
2 -> 6
C++ implementation –
// Data structure to store a Binary Tree node
Node *left, *right;
// Recursive function to do a pre-order traversal of the tree and fill map
// Here node has 'dist' horizontal distance from the root of the tree
void verticalSum(Node *node, int dist, auto &map)
// base case: empty tree
if (node == nullptr)
// update the map
map[dist] += node->data;
// recurse for left subtree by decreasing horizontal distance by 1
verticalSum(node->left, dist - 1, map);
// recurse for right subtree by increasing horizontal distance by 1
verticalSum(node->right, dist + 1, map);
// Function to print the vertical sum of given binary tree
void verticalSum(Node *root)
// create an empty map where
// key -> relative horizontal distance of the node from root node and
// value -> sum of all nodes present at same horizontal distance
map<int, int> map;
// do pre-order traversal of the tree and fill the map
verticalSum(root, 0, map);
// traverse the map and print vertical sum
for (auto it: map)
cout << it.second << " ";
The time complexity of above solution is O(n) and auxiliary space used by the program is O(n).
Exercise: Extend the solution to print nodes in vertical order.
Thanks for reading.