The program for this assignment, and everything else except the README file, is due at 9 PM on Wednesday, November 8th, 2000. As usual, the README file is due at 12 midnight on the same day (i.e., the moment Thursday starts). Refer to the homework policies page for general homework guidelines.
The primary purpose of this assignment is to get you used to writing C++ iterators. You will also be developing a preliminary list class. Both the list class and the iterator for it will be useful to you in later assignments.
Note: the list class you develop in this assignment will be central to several future assignments. Make sure you develop it well and debug it thoroughly.
One of the more creative approaches to artificial intelligence is the genetic algorithm, invented by Prof. John Holland of the University of Michigan.
In brief, a genetic algorithm simulates the process of evolution by applying the usual rules of genetics to simulate natural selection. In real life, natural selection's primary goal is the continuation of the species, and organisms that achieve that goal tend to be propagated. In a genetic algorithm, on the other hand, the primary goal is to satisfy a "fitness function" chosen by the programmer. For example, a simple fitness function might interpret the genes of an organism as the value of x in a complicated equation. The natural-selection process could then be tuned to prefer organisms that generate an output near zero, so that the survivors would eventually produce a solution to the equation.
Genetic algorithms were the first step in the current research area called "artificial life", and they have been used to successfully solve many problems that were otherwise intractable.
A complete genetic algorithm is too complex for a CS 70 assignment, but we can implement some of the core functions relatively easily. There are three basic processes in evolution: mutation, recombination, and selection. Mutation involves selecting a gene site and modifying it in some fashion, usually by replacing it with another gene. Mutation is very rare both in real life and in genetic algorithms.
Recombination is the most important process in generating new organisms. It involves taking two gene strings (usually from two parent organisms), cutting them both at the same point, and re-splicing them so that the head of the result comes from one parent and the tail from the other. Real genetic algorithms usually generate two children in this process, and may splice at more than one point, but we'll simplify things in our implementation.
The final step, selection, will not be implemented in this assignment. Selection involves evaluating the organisms according to some criterion (the "fitness function") and choosing the ones that are most successful. In real life, selection is the harsh process of "survival of the fittest." In a genetic algorithm, the same method is used: the least fit organisms are discarded (i.e., killed) without being allowed to reproduce. As in real life, there is some randomness, so that a somewhat unfit organism has a chance of surviving even when a more fit one is discarded. This randomness turns out to be important to the success of the method, since any two slightly unfit parents might (through recombination) generate an extremely fit child.
Because we will not have time to implement an entire genetic algorithm, we will limit ourselves to the recombination and mutation functions. However, we will build them using a relatively general approach, so that the code we write could later be incorporated into a larger program.
The gene lists will be represented using a linked list. Each element
in the list will contain only a single character, plus a link to the
next element. The list must have a separate header that is not a
plain element, which means that you must implement two classes (the
header and the element). The cleanest approach is to make the element
a nested private class of the header, so that only the header
CharList) is visible from outside.
Your linked list must be named
CharList and must support
the following operations. Note that, since the main driver program is
supplied, the function names cannot be changed.
const char *string (terminated by a
'\0'character) and creates a list of characters, one per element. The
'\0'character should not be included in the constructed list.
pushTailfunction that inserts a single character at the tail of the list. The declaration of this function should be similar to the following:
void pushTail(char value);This function must operate in O(1) time, which implies that you must maintain a separate tail pointer for the list. You have already done a similar implementation in CS60.
In addition, you must implement an output operator
CharList. I suggest
that you use the technique suggested in Weiss: provide a public
Finally, you may find it helpful to implement a few other
standard list functions:
isEmpty, and possibly
popTail. Some of
these may be useful in this assignment, while others can be useful in
the future. However, only the list above is absolutely required.
You must also implement an iterator for
must be named
CharListIterator. The iterator must
support the following functions at a minimum:
CharListto be iterated over.
operator boolthat returns
trueif the iterator can deliver more data, or
falseif the iterator is expired.
operator*that returns a
char&(so that the character in the current position can be modified if necessary).
In addition, you may wish to support a copy constructor, assignment
operator, and postincrement operator. It would not be appropriate to
char is not a
You are provided with a single file,
is the main driver program. You are not allowed to modify
You must create the following files:
Makefilewill not be provided. You must write your own, and it must be correct. If you do not provide a
Makefile, your program will not compile and you will receive a zero for functionality. Be sure your dependencies are correct; you may wish to use
g++ -Mto help.
CharListIteratorclasses. Note that both classes must be defined by this file, either by placing both definitions in the file, or by having it
#includewhatever file(s) contain the remaining definitions.
Unlike in homework assignment #3, you are not required to use any specific coding style in the files you create. Since you are creating new files from scratch, any good style is acceptable.
As usual, you can also download the provided file as a bundle, either as a gzipped tar file or as a ZIP archive.
For assignment 7, you must submit the following files:
The comments at the beginning of
assign_07.cc give a
number of sample test cases. I suggest that you run all of these
tests yourself, as well as a number of others that you have
We will not limit ourselves to running only the tests given in the comments. You can expect that we will run stress tests in an attempt to break your program. I strongly suggest that you attempt to break it yourself, so that we won't be able to do so.
As usual there are some tricky parts to this assignment. Some of them are:
assign_07.ccbefore you start, so that you understand the requirements placed on the
CharListdestructor, copy constructor, and assignment operator are working before you try to run the main program. Getting these functions right can be quite difficult, and if you don't debug them in isolation, you will experience strange bugs that will be hard to find.
++operator can be applied even if the iterator is already at the end of the list. Be sure to handle that case properly.
pushTailmust run in O(1) time. Be sure to do a complexity analysis of the function to be sure that it's not O(N).
This page is maintained by Geoff Kuenning.