# Scala algorithm: Reverse bits of an integer

Published

## Algorithm goal

Reverse the bits of an integer, eg 2 becomes 1073741824 as 2 is 0b[30 times of 0-bit]10, so 2 reversed is 0b01[30 times of 0-bit].

## Test cases in Scala

## Algorithm in Scala

15 lines of Scala (compatible versions 2.13 & 3.0), showing how concise Scala can be!

## Explanation

We take the approach of taking bit-by-bit from the end and using a left binary shift to move that bit to the left side at every iteration.

Note that there is a more efficient implementation that is O(1), but we would be copy-pasting a standard Java algorithm at this point; see `java.lang.Integer.reverse`

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## Scala concepts & Hints

### Def Inside Def

A great aspect of Scala is being able to declare functions inside functions, making it possible to reduce repetition.

It is also frequently used in combination with Tail Recursion.

### Stack Safety

Stack safety is present where a function cannot crash due to overflowing the limit of number of recursive calls.

This function will work for n = 5, but will not work for n = 2000 (crash with java.lang.StackOverflowError) - however there is a way to fix it :-)

In Scala Algorithms, we try to write the algorithms in a stack-safe way, where possible, so that when you use the algorithms, they will not crash on large inputs. However, stack-safe implementations are often more complex, and in some cases, overly complex, for the task at hand.

### Tail Recursion

In Scala, tail recursion enables you to rewrite a mutable structure such as a while-loop, into an immutable algorithm.