How to Find The Merge Point of Two Linked Lists

How to Find The Merge Point of Two Linked Lists

Using Python. We are given two singly linked lists and we have to find the point at which they merge.

Understand the Problem

We are given two singly linked lists and we have to find the point at which they merge.

[SLL 1] 1--->3--->5
     [SLL 2] 7--->8

The diagram above illustrates that the merge occurs at node 9.

We can rest assured that the parameters we are given, head1 and head2, which are the heads of both lists will never be equal and will never be none. The two lists are also guaranteed to also merge at some point.

We need a plan to find and return the integer data value of the node where the two lists merge.


In order to traverse through the lists to find the point at which they merge, we need to set two different pointers. One for the first singly linked list, another for the second. Remember that we are given the heads of both as parameters, so we will set our pointers to them in order to start from the beginning of each.

Image for post

pointer1 = head1
pointer2 = head2

To begin traversing the lists, we’ll need create a while loop to loop through the lists while the lists are not None.

while not None:

If at any point, pointer1 and pointer2 are equal, we must break out of the while loop, as we have found the node where the two lists merge.

if pointer1 == pointer2:

However, if it is not equal, we will move forward by utilizing .next.

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