Module Identifier CS21120  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark B Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mr Christopher W Loftus, Dr Frederic Labrosse, Dr Simon M Garrett  
Pre-Requisite CS12420 or CS10720  
Course delivery Lecture   44 lectures  
  Practical   Up to 20 x 1 hr (start in week 5)  
  Other   Workshop. Up to 4 x 1hr  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours A1 Written examination40%
Semester Assessment A2 Course Work: Two pieces. There will also be regular worksheets with penalties for non-submission.50%
Semester Assessment A3 Regular worksheets  10%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours  100%
Further details  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

Brief description

This module builds on the foundations of the first year modules on program design and provides a thorough grounding in the design of data structures and algorithms and gives further insight into object-oriented design.


This module provides an introduction to data structures and their use in solving programming problems. The course emphasises the use of abstract data types and the contribution that abstraction and encapsulation can make to the comprehensibility, reusability and robustness of programs. The course also examines the efficiency of well-known algorithms in order to provide a basis for students to make informed choices about data structures and algorithms. Java is used as the language of implementation with the intent of providing a means of allowing the student to naturally express these design objectives in code.

As well as providing a solid grounding in the major data structures and algorithms of Computer Science, the course stresses the development of problem solving skills through a number of programming worksheets.


1. Course Overview - 2 Lectures
An introduction into time/space complexity. Issues of correctness as they relate to the definition of ADTs. The key ideas of abstraction and encapsulation. Notations for describing ADTs. Review of Java support for their implementation: packages, exceptions and interfaces.

2. Introduction to Complexity - 3 Lectures
O() notation, growth rates. Measurement of execution time of some real programs and estimation of their time complexity. Some examples of time/space trade-offs.

3. Classes of Algorithm - 4 Lectures
An overview will be given on the different classes of algorithm; for example, divide and conquer and greedy algorithms. Genetic algorithms will also be discussed. P and NP.

4. Recursion - 2 Lectures
An introduction to recursive thinking. Examples of recursion.

5. Storing and Retrieving Data by Key (1) - 12 Lectures
This problem will be used to motivate the discussion of a wide variety of different implementation techniques. The features of some typical solutions will be related to the dimensions of the problem such as the volume of data to be handled, volatility and the operations required. Internal Storage: linear and binary searching. Linked representations; an introduction to hashing, binary search trees, AVL trees and heaps.

6. Storing and Retrieving Data by Key (2): External storage - 4 Lectures
Performance issues. Hashing and B-tree organisations. The Hashable class in Java.

7. Representing Text - 4 Lectures
String matching algorithms and their performance. Search engines case study.

8. Sorting - 4 Lectures
A comparison of divide and conquer, priority queue and address calculation based sorting algorithms. Performance characteristics of these algorithms will be discussed.

9. Representing Complex Relationships: Graphs - 6 Lectures
Some examples of greedy algorithms. Terminology and implementation considerations. A look at some graph-related problems such as: finding a route (shortest paths); planning a communications network (minimum spanning trees); network routing management (flow graphs); compiling a program or planning a project (topological sorting).

10. Patterns - 3 lectures
An introduction to Object Oriented Design Patterns. The relationship between ADTs and petterns. How patterns may be implemented in Java.

Reading Lists

T. Budd (2001) Classic Data Structures in Java Addison-Wesley Pub Co ISBN: 0201700026
Michael Main (1999) Data Structures and Other Objects, Using Java Addison Wesley ISBN 0201357445
T.A. Standish (1998) Data Structures in Java Addison Wesley ISBN: 020130564X
Alfred Aho, John Hopcroft, and Jeffrey Ullman (1983) Data Structures and Algorithms Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts ISBN: 0201000237
Alfred Aho and Jeffrey Ullman (1995) Foundations of Computer Science W H Freeman & Co. ISBN: 0716782847
Thomas A Standish (1994) Data Structures, Algorithms and Software Principles Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts ISBN: 0201591189
Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Brian Wilkerson, and Lauren Wiener (1990) Designing Object-Oriented Software Prentice Hall ISBN: 0136298257


This module is at CQFW Level 5