1. What is Bitonic search?

An array is bitonic if it is comprised of an increasing sequence of integers followed immediately by a decreasing sequence of integers. Given a bitonic array a of N distinct integers, describe how to determine whether a given integer is in the array in O(log N) steps. Hint: find the maximum, then binary search in each piece.

2. What is Range search?

Given a database of all tolls collected in NJ road system, devise a scheme to answer queries of the form: extract sum of all tolls collected in a given time interval. Use a Toll data type that implements the Comparable interface, where the key is the time that the toll was collected.

3. Do you know why doesn't the Java library use a randomized version of quicksort?

At the very least, the library should cutoff to some guaranteed N log N algorithm if it "realizes" it is in trouble. Perhaps to avoid side effects. Programmers may want their libraries to be deterministic for debugging. But the library only uses quicksort for primitive types when stability is not an issue, so the programmer probably wouldn't notice the randomness, except in running time.

4. Tell me are there implementations for sorting and searching in the Java libarary?

Yes. The Java library java.util.Arrays contains the methods Arrays.sort() and Arrays.binarySearch() that implement mergesort and binary search for Comparable types and a sorting implementation for primitive types based on a version of the quicksort algorithm, which is faster than mergesort and also sorts an array in place (without using any extra space). SystemSort.java illustrates how to use Arrays.sort().

5. What is Quicksort?

Quick sort is a divide-and-conquer method for sorting. It works by partitioning an array of elements into two parts, then sorting the parts independently. As we shall see, the precise position of the partition depends on the initial order of the elements in the input file.
The crux of the method is the partitioning process, which rearranges the array to make the following three conditions hold:
✰ The element a[i] is in its final place in the array for i.
✰ None of the elements a[left], ..., a[i-1] is greater than a[i].
✰ None of the elements in a[i+1], ..., a[right] is less than a[i].

6. What is Reduction to sorting method?

A problem A reduces to a problem B if we can use a solution to B to solve A. Designing a new divide-and-conquer algorithm from scratch is sometimes akin to solving a puzzle that requires some experience and ingenuity, so you may not feel confident that you can do so at first. But it is often the case that a simpler approach is effective: given a new problem that lends itself to a quadratic brute-force solution, ask yourself how you would solve it if the data were sorted in some way. For example, consider the problem of determining whether the elements in an array are all different. This problem reduces to sorting because we can sort the array, the make a linear pass through the sorted array to check whether any entry is equal to the next (if not, the elements are all different.)

7. What is Mergesort?

To develop a faster sorting method, we use a divide-and-conquer approach to algorithm design that every programmer needs to understand. This nomenclature refers to the idea that one way to solve a problem is to divide it into independent parts, conquer them independently, and then use the solutions for the parts to develop a solution for the full problem. To sort an array with this strategy, we divide it into two halves, sort the two halves independently, and then merge the results to sort the full array. This method is known as mergesort.

8. What is Insertion sort?

Insertion sort is a brute-force sorting algorithm that is based on a simple method that people often use to arrange hands of playing cards. Consider the cards one at a time and insert each into its proper place among those already considered (keeping them sorted).

9. Explain exception filter?

We now use binary search to solve the existence problem: is a given key in a sorted database of keys? For example, when checking the spelling of a word, you need only know whether your word is in the dictionary and are not interested in the definition. In a computer search, we keep the information in an array, sorted in order of the key. The binary search code in BinarySearch.java differs from our other applications in two details. First, the file size N need not be a power of two. Second, it has to allow the possibility that the item sought is not in the array. The client program implements an exception filter: it reads a sorted list of strings from a file (which we refer to as the whitelist) and an arbitrary sequence of strings from standard input and prints those in the sequence that are not in the whitelist.

10. How to search binary in a sorted array?

During much of the last century people would use a publication known as a phone book to look up a person's phone number. Entries appears in order, sorted by a key that identifies it (the person's name) n both cases). A brute-force solution would be to start at the beginning, examine each entry one at a time, and continue until you find the name. No one uses that method: instead, you open the book to some interior page and look for the name on that page. If it is there, you are done; otherwise, you eliminate either the part of the book before the current page or the part of the book after the current page from consideration and repeat.

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