Given a string S, find the longest palindromic substring in S. You may assume that the maximum length of S is 1000, and there exists one unique longest palindromic substring.

To solve this problem, first investigate following examples:

• abcdefedchz: the longest palindrome is cdefedc, the left and right parts are symmetric to letter f.
• acbbcae: the longest palindrome acbbca, which is symmetric to the (virtual) postion between bb.
• a: the longest palindrome is the letter a.

Based on above investigations, we could summarize the solution as:

1. For every letter in the string, find the longest repetitive characters to current letter, record the start and end position;
2. Minus start position by one and see if s[start] is still identical to s[end].
3. If yes, iteratively compare s[start--] and s[end--] until they are not equal.
4. The possible longest palindrome for current letter is end-start-1.

Following is my C++ implementation. This algorithm could be enhanced by not checking every letters, however, the time complexity will still be $$O(N^2)$$. A better method is Manacherâ€™s Algorithm, which has $$O(N)$$ time complexity.

class Solution {
public:
string longestPalindrome(string s) {
if(s.empty())
return "";

int pd_start=0; // the start position of the palindrome
int pd_len=0; // the length of the palindrome
for(int i=0;i<s.length();++i) {
int start=i;
int end=i;
while(end<s.length() && s[start]==s[end])
end++;

start--;
while(start>=0 && end<s.length() && s[start]==s[end]) {
start--;
end++;
}

if(pd_len<end-start-1) {
pd_len=end-start-1;
pd_start=start+1;
}
}

return s.substr(pd_start,pd_len);
}
};