# 428. Serialize and Deserialize N-ary Tree

Reference: LeetCode
Difficulty: Hard

## Problem

Serialization is the process of converting a data structure or object into a sequence of bits so that it can be stored in a file or memory buffer, or transmitted across a network connection link to be reconstructed later in the same or another computer environment.

Design an algorithm to serialize and deserialize an N-ary tree. An N-ary tree is a rooted tree in which each node has no more than N children. There is no restriction on how your serialization/deserialization algorithm should work. You just need to ensure that an N-ary tree can be serialized to a string and this string can be deserialized to the original tree structure.

For example, you may serialize the following 3-ary tree:

as [1 [3[5 6] 2 4]]. You do not necessarily need to follow this format, so please be creative and come up with different approaches yourself.

Note:

• N is in the range of [1, 1000].
• Do not use class member/global/static variables to store states. Your serialize and deserialize algorithms should be stateless.

Example:

Clarification: The above format is the same as how LeetCode serializes a binary tree. You do not necessarily need to follow this format, so please be creative and come up with different approaches yourself.

Note: Do not use class member/global/static variables to store states. Your serialize and deserialize algorithms should be stateless.

## Analysis

### BFS

Note:

Time: $O(N)$ if using StringBuffer for string concatenation.
Space: $O(N)$ since we need to keep the entire tree.

Serialize:

Deserialize:

### DFS (Solution)

Time: $O(N)$ if using StringBuffer for string concatenation.
Space: $O(N)$ since we need to keep the entire tree.

Serialize:

Deserialize:

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Junhao Wang
a software engineering cat