Minimum Distance to the Target Element
Let’s break down the problem and the solution into simple terms:
Problem Description
You have an array of integers nums
, an integer target
, and another integer start
. Your task is to find an index i
in the array where nums[i]
is equal to target
, and the absolute difference between i
and start
is minimized.
Solution
Here’s a stepbystep guide to solving this problem:
Initialize a Variable: Start with a variable to keep track of the minimum distance found so far.
Iterate Through the Array: Go through each element in the array and check if it is equal to the target.
Calculate Absolute Difference: If you find an element equal to the target, calculate the absolute difference between its index and the
start
value.Update Minimum Distance: Compare the absolute difference with the minimum distance found so far and update it if a smaller value is found.
Return the Result: Return the minimum distance after iterating through the entire array.
Code


Key Takeaways
 We need to find an index in the array that matches the target, and the absolute difference between that index and the start index is minimized.
 By iterating through the array and calculating the absolute difference, we can find the minimum distance.
 Using a variable to keep track of the minimum distance helps to efficiently find the final result.