I'm working on a problem where I have a large number of pairs
1 -> 2
4 -> 3
2 -> 8
And a "match" would be considered 1 -> 2 and 2 -> 8 to make 1 -> 2 -> 8, as "1 -> 2" ends with 2 and "2 -> 8" starts with 2.
Given a large set of pairs, i'd like to create the longest possible chain. I know I could brute force it, but I'm wondering if there is a better way
Edit - I can give more precise context for the problem (Sorry, i'm a student currently in data structures who has not taken an algorithms course)
The datapoints in the pairs would be song names which well flow together. There is a subreddit called "/r/ocrableach" which posts pairs of songs where the ending of one song blends well with the beginning of another song.
An item can appear multiple times in the data set, but i will be discarding repeats as i build my chain.
I'd like to pull posts from /r/ocrableach and try to build the longest continuous playlist based on the song pairs.
If I have the pairs
"Okra -> Bleach" "Bleach -> I THINK" "On God" -> "Okra"
I'd like to start constructing a linked list like this:
"Okra -> Bleach" and "Bleach -> "I THINK" match = "Okra -> Bleach -> I THINK" "Okra -> Bleach -> I THINK" and "On God -> Okra" match = "On God -> Okra -> Bleach -> I THINK"
I'm essentially checking if the tail of one pair matches with the head of the "chain" to see if it can be added.