# Swap individual bits at given position in an integer

Given an integer, swap consecutive b bits starting from given positions in binary representation of the integer. The bits to be swapped should not overlap with each other.

For example,

Input:
n = 15 (15 in binary is 00001111)
p = 2, q = 5 (3rd and 6th bit from the right)
b = 2 (Number of consecutive bits in each sequence)

Output: 99
(99 in binary is 01100011)

The idea is to store the result of XORing the pairs of bit values we want to swap in a variable x, and then the bits are set to the result of themselves XORed with x. The code goes as –

// isolate the bits to be swapped and take their XOR
x = ((n >> p) ^ (n >> q)) & ((1 << b) - 1)

// replace the bits to be swapped with the XOR bits and take its XOR with n
res = n ^ ((x << p) | (x << q))

Note that the result is undefined if the sequences overlap.

For example, consider n = 15, p = 2, q = 5 (3rd and 6th bit from the right) and number of consecutive bits in each sequence b = 2.

00001111                 (n = 15)

00000011   ^             (n >> p)
00000000                 (n >> q)
~~~~~~~~
00000011                 ((n >> p) ^ (n >> q))

00000011   &             ((n >> p) ^ (n >> q))
00000011                 ((1 << b) - 1)

~~~~~~~~
00000011                 x

00001100   |             (x << p)
01100000                 (x << q)

~~~~~~~~
01101100                 ((x << p) | (x << q))

00001111   ^             (n = 15)
01101100                 (n ^ ((x << p) | (x << q)))

~~~~~~~~
01100011

C++ implementation –

Output:

15 in binary is 00001111
99 in binary is 01100011

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