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CIT231: Algorithms and Data Structures


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Title: CIT231: Algorithms and Data Structures

CIT231 Algorithms and Data Structures
The aim of this Module
  • The main aim of this course is to learn a large
    number of the most important algorithms used on
    computers today in a such a way that we will be
    able to apply and appreciate them in the any
    further computer applications.

Learning Outcome
  • Ability to develop and analyse efficiency of
    various algorithm.
  • Ability to describe various data structure and
    their use in respective application domain.
  • Ability to develop application by integrating
    various data structures.
  • Ability employ several sort procedure in program

Recommended Reading
  • Ellis Horowitz, Sartaj Sahni and Dinesh Mehta
    (2002) Fundamentals of Data Structures in C
    Galgotia Publishing pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
  • Robert L. Kruse, Clovis L. Tondo and Bruce P.
    Leung (2002), Data Structures and Program Design
    in C, Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited, New
  • Jean-Paul Trembley and Paul G. Sorenson (2003),
    An Introduction to Data Structures with
    Applications, Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company
    Limited, New Delhi.

Additional Readings
  • Alfred V. Aho, John E. Hopcroft and Jeffrey D.
    Ullman (2000), Data Structures and Algorithms,
    Addison-Wesley, London.
  • Mark Allen Weiss (2003), Data Structures and
    Problem Solving Using C, 2nd Edition, Pearson
    Education International Inc., Upper Saddle River,
  • Alfred V. Aho, John E. Hopcroft and Jeffrey D.
    Ullman (2003), The Design and Analysis of
    Computer Algorithms, Pearson Education, Inc., New
  • Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson and Ronald
    Leiserson (2000), Introduction To Algorithms,
    McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Useful Web Sources for this Course
  • The useful Web resources for the course are
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

  • Written Examination 60
  • Continuous Assessment 40
  • There will be two assignments
  • The first assignment will have 20 marks each.
  • The last assignment will carry 20 marks
  • The first assignment will be out in week 5 and
    the second assignment will be out in week 10

Course Outlook
  • In this course we will be looking at various
    concepts related to data structure and important
    algorithms that can be applied to solve nowadays
    computer applications
  • In data structure we will discuss some important
    topics such as arrays, linked lists, stacks and
    queues, and trees.
  • In algorithms analysis we will have a look at
    sorting and searching algorithms
  • Other topics that will be discussed include
    Hashing, Heap Structure, algorithms for graph
    problems, geometric algorithms, and randomised

Learning Methods, Strategies and Techniques
  • The best way to learn this course is through
    group work in the form of discussion.
  • Students must work together in some assessment
    works to gain more understanding on the course.
  • You have to think first in tackling any problem
    whether it is a code oriented problem or an
    analytic problem.
  • Ask your friend and neighbour if you see some
    difficulties before rushing to the lecturer.

Learning Methods, Strategies and Techniques
  • The major strategy that might be used also to
    well understand the course is to implement and
    test some algorithms, experiment with their
    variants, discuss their operation on small
    examples, and to try them out on larger examples.
  • We shall use the C programming language to
    describe the algorithms, thus providing useful
    implementations at the same time.
  • In this course we will look at many different
    areas of application, focusing on the fundamental
    algorithms that are important to know and
    interesting to study.
  • Lab works for some implementations during

Introduction to Algorithms
  • By definition algorithm is a sequence of an
    instructions that act on some input data to
    produce some output in a finite number of steps.
  • Simply stated it is a method of solving a problem
    that are suited for computer implementations.
  • Others describe it as a problem-solving method
    suitable for implementation as a computer program.

Introduction to Algorithms
  • When we write a computer program, we are
    generally implementing a method that has been
    devised previously to solve some problem.
  • This method is independent on particular computer
    to be used it might be appropriate for many
    computers and many programs.
  • Algorithm is the method that we use to learn how
    to solve computer related problems (programs).

How Data Structure is Involved
  • Most algorithms of interests involve methods of
    organising the data involved in computation.
  • Objects created in this way are called Data
    Structures and they are the core objects to study
    in computer science.
  • Therefore algorithms and data structures go hand
    in hand.
  • Data structures exist as the end products of
    algorithms, thus that we must study them in order
    to understand the algorithms.

Properties of Algorithm
  • Input must receive data supplied externally.
  • Output Produce at least one output as the
  • Finiteness Must terminate after finite number
    of the steps.
  • Definiteness The steps to be performed must be
  • Effectiveness Ability to perform the steps in
    the algorithm without applying any intelligence.

Categories of Algorithm
  • Fundamentally algorithms can be divided into two
  • Iterative (repetitive) algorithm
  • Recursive algorithms.
  • Iterative algorithms typically use loops and
    conditional statements.
  • Recursive algorithms use divide and conquer
    strategy to break down a large problem into small
    chunks and separately apply algorithm to each

Principles of Problem Solving
  • No hard and fast rules that will ensure success
    in the problem solving process.
  • The general steps and principles that may be
    useful in the solution of the problems are-
  • Understand the Problem
  • - Read the problem and make sure you understand
    it clearly. Ask yourself the following
  • What is the unknown?
  • What are the given quantities?
  • What are the given conditions?
  • For some problems it is useful to draw a diagram
    and identify the given and required quantities on
    the diagram.
  • Usually it is necessary to introduce suitable

Principles of Problem Solving
  • Think of a Plan
  • Find the connection between the given
    information and the unknown that will enable you
    to find the unknown.
  • Carry Out the Plan
  • Check each stage of the plan and write the
    details that prove that each stage is correct.
  • Look Back
  • Look back over your solution to see if you have
    made errors in the solution.

Analysis of Algorithm
  • The choice of the best algorithm for a particular
    task can be a complicated process, perhaps
    involving sophisticated mathematical analysis.
  • Analysis of algorithm involve the study of
    sophisticated mathematical analysis of the
    problem for a particular task.

Analysis of Algorithm
  • The primary goal of analysis of algorithm is to
    learn reasonable algorithms for important tasks
    as well as paying careful attention to
    comparative performance of the methods.
  • Consider necessary resources that might be needed
    by the entire algorithm before using it.
  • Be aware of the performance of algorithm.

Analysis of Algorithm
  • There might be different ways (algorithms) in
    which we can solve given problem.
  • Each algorithm has its own characteristics when
    it operates which determine its efficiency.
  • Understanding which algorithm is more efficient
    than the other involve the analysis of algorithm.

Analysis of Algorithm
  • In analysing algorithm the important thing to
    consider is the time needed to execute it.
  • The time is not the number of seconds or any such
    time unit, but the number of operations to
    complete the execution of whole algorithm.
  • An algorithm cannot be considered better due to
    its less time unit in execution or worse because
    it takes more time units to execute.
  • In comparison between two algorithms it is
    assumed that all other things like speed of the
    computer and the language used are the same for
    both the algorithms

Analysis of Algorithm
  • When analysing algorithms dont consider the
    actual number of operations done for some
    specific size of input data.
  • Instead try to build an equation that relates the
    number of operations that a particular algorithm
    does to the size of input data.
  • Once the equations formed compare two algorithms
    by comparing that rate at which their equation

Analysis of Algorithm
  • This growth rate is critical since there are
    situations where one algorithm needs fewer
    operations than the other when the input size is
    small, but many more when the input size gets
  • In analysing iterative algorithms it is important
    to determine the number of times the loop is

Analysis of Algorithm
  • In analysing the recursive algorithms you need to
    determine amount of work done for three things.
  • Breaking down the large problem to smaller
  • Getting solution for each piece
  • Combining the individual solutions to get the
    solution to the whole problem
  • Create a recurrence relation for algorithm by
    combining all this information and the number of
    the smaller pieces and their sizes.

What is Analysis of Algorithm
  • The analysis of algorithm enable us to understand
    how long an algorithm will take for solving a
  • For comparing the performance of two algorithms
    we have to estimate the time taken to solve a
    problem using each algorithm for set of N input
  • E.g Number of comparisons a searching algorithm
    does to search a value in a list of N values.

What is Analysis of Algorithm
  • As previously said the number of algorithms can
    be used to solve a particular problem
  • Analysis of algorithms enable us to have
    scientific reason to determine which algorithm
    should be chosen to solve the problem.
  • E.g Two algorithms to find the biggest of four

What is Analysis of Algorithm
  • Each algorithm above does exactly three
    comparisons to find the biggest number.
  • The first is easier to read and understand
    however both have the same level of complexity
    for computer to execute.
  • In terms of time these two algorithms are the
    same, but in terms of space, the first need more
    because of the temp variable big
  • The purpose of determining the number of
    comparisons is to use them to figure out which of
    algorithms can solve the problem more efficiently

What Analysis Doesnt Do
  • The analysis of algorithms doesnt give a formula
    that helps to determine how many seconds or
    cycles a particular algorithm will take to solve
    a problem.
  • This is not useful because
  • Type of computer
  • Instruction set used by the Microprocessor
  • What optimisation compiler performs on the
    executable code, etc.

Cases to Consider During Analysis
  • Choosing the input to consider when analysing
    algorithm can have a significant impact on the
    performance of the algorithms.
  • e.g. if the input list is already sorted, some
    sorting algorithm will perform very well.
  • The multiple input sets that normally are
    considered when analyising algorithm are-
  • Best case input Allows an algorithm to perform
    most quickly. It makes an algorithm to take
    shortest time to execute.

Cases to Consider During Analysis
  • Worst Cases Input This represents the input set
    that allows an algorithm to perform most slowly.
    It is an important analysis because it gives us
    an idea of the most time algorithm will ever
  • Average Case Input Represents the input set
    that allows an algorithm to deliver an average
    performance. It has a four-steps process-
  • Determine the number of different groups into
    which all input sets can be divided.
  • Determine the probability that the input will
    come from each of these groups
  • Determine how long the algorithm will run for
    each these groups.

Data Structure
  • Organising the data for processing is an
    essential step in the development of a computer
  • Any algorithm necessary to solve a particular
    problem will depend on the proper data structure
    for implementing it to computer application.
  • For the same data, some data structure require
    more or less space than others some data
    structure lead to more or less efficient
    algorithms than others.

Data Structure
  • The choices of algorithms and data structure are
    closely intertwined, and beware of saving time
    and space by making the choice properly.
  • Consider operations needed to be performed on the
    data structure as well as algorithms used for
    these operations.
  • This concept is formalised in the notion of a
    data type.

Data Structure
  • In C we will use low level construct to store
    and process information.
  • All the data that we process in a computer
    ultimately decompose into individual bits.
  • Types allow us to specify how we will use
    particular sets of bits.
  • Functions allow us to specify the operations to
    be performed on the data.

Data Structure
  • The data structure that will be considered are
    important building blocks that can be used in C
    and many other programming languages. These are
    the tree, arrays, strings, and linked lists.
  • Structures are going to be used to group pieces
    of information together
  • Pointers will be used to refer to information

Data Structure
  • In C, the programs are built from just a few
    basic types of data
  • Integers (int)
  • Floating-point numbers (floats)
  • Characters (chars)
  • Characters are most often used in higher level
    abstraction for instances to make word and
  • Integers (int) fall within specific range that
    depends on the of bits that we to represent them.

Data Structure
  • Floating-point numbers approximate real numbers.
  • The number of bits that are used to represent
    them affect the precision to approximate a real
  • By definition A data type is a set of values and
    collection of operations on those values.
  • When operations are performed its operands and
    results must be of the correct type.

Data Structure
  • It is a common programming error to neglect this
  • In some cases C performs implicit type
  • In other cases casts or explicit type conversion
    can be used. For example if x and N are integers,
    the expression ((float) x) / N includes both
    types of conversion.