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It was a pretty interesting question.- b2010 in United States
Assume that you are given a fixed set of floating point numbers. Now given a new floating point number 'x', the goal is to efficiently find the number that is closest to 'x' from the fixed set. Question is: what data structure will you actually use for storing the fixed set of floating point numbers to achieve this?
I missed to add. The interviewer further mentioned that I can not sort and that I can use any amount of time for creating the data structure (meaning this need not be efficient).
Since, I am not allowed to 'sort', I assumed that I can not use BST as I will have to compare numbers while populating the tree. But I didn't clarify it with him; I should have in hindsight.
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Amazon Research Scientist Data Structures