22C:21: Computer Science II: Data Structures

Project 3. Posted 11/26. Due 12/13



This project mainly consists of three, fairly independent parts. These parts will involve modifying the myWeightedGraph class.
  1. Modify the myWeightedGraph class so that it contains an efficient implementation of Prim's MST Algorithm. The myWeightedGraph class should provide the same three functions as before:
    	int[] MST()
    	myWeightedGraph MSTGraph()
    	double costMST()
    as before, but as explained in Homework 10, the algorithm should run efficiently, i.e., in (m + n)*log(n) for arbitrary graphs and n*log(n) for sparse graphs.
  2. Currently, the shortestPath method in myWeightedGraph class returns a shortest path, measured in hops, between a source vertex and a destination vertex. This method uses breadth-first search to compute shortest paths. But, now that our graphs are edge-weighted, it makes sense to have two versions of the shortestPath method, one that measures path length in hops and another that pays attention to edge-weights. You will use Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm to compute shortest paths in an edge-weighted graph. This algorithm is similar to Prim's MST algorithm. Details are given below.
  3. One big source of inefficiency in the graph classes we have implemented thus far is the getIndex method. In the current implementation, getIndex simply performs a linear scan of the names array to find the given vertex name. This takes linear time (in the worst case) and can become a bottle-neck for other operations that depend on it. To fix this problem, I want you to store vertex names in a hash table. Since we have studied hashing with chaining, you can use that technique and in particular, you can use the Dictionary class.

Dijkstra's Shortest Path Algorithm

Finding shortest paths in edge-weighted graphs is an extremely common operation - think about the times you have used MapQuest or Google maps to find shortest paths. In addition to its obvious use in online maps, shortest path problems occur in other applications such as transportation, internet routing, etc. Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm (named after Turing award winner, Edsger Dijkstra) is a simple algorithm to compute shortest path in an edge-weighted graph, with non-negative edge weights. For the rest of this handout, we will assume that all edge weights in our graphs are non-negative. Here is the pseudocode for Dijkstra's algorithm - I copied it from Wikipedia and modified it slightly to match our conventions and language. This algorithm computes the shortest paths to all vertices in the graph from a given source vertex. As in the case of breadth-first search, the algorithm constructs and returns a shortest path tree rooted at the source vertex. The tree is stored in an int[] called previous that keeps track of the parent of each vertex, in the shortest path tree. You should think of Q as a PRIORITY QUEUE ADT; if you want to be more specific, you can think of it as a min-heap. The quantity weight(u, v) on Line 11 refers to the weight of the edge {u, v}.
 1  int[] Dijkstra(source)
 2     for each vertex v            	     // Initializations
 3         dist[v] := infinity               // Unknown distance function from s to v
 4         previous[v] := -1		     // the array previous stores parent info.
 5         Q.insert(v)			     // Insert all vertices into the priority queue Q
                                             // The dist-values are used as priorities

 6     dist[source] := 0                     // Distance from source to source is set to 0
 7     Q.change(source, 0)                   // and this is updated in the priority queue as well

 8     while Q is not empty:                 // The main loop
 9         u := Q.delete()                   // Remove best vertex from priority queue; returns source on first iteration
10         for each neighbor v of u:         // where v has not yet been considered
11             alt = dist[u] + weight(u, v)
12             if alt < dist[v]              // Relax (u,v)
13                 dist[v] := alt
14                 previous[v] := u
15	           Q.change(v, dist[v]) 
	   } // end of for-each-neighbor
       } // end of while-Q-is-not-empty
16     return previous[]
    } // end of function
Dijkstra's algorithm starts by assigning a "distance estimate" to each vertex. These are stored in the array dist. As the algorithm proceeds the distance estimates will improve and eventually reach the correct values. Initially dist[source] is set to 0, whereas all other distance estimates are set to infinity, reflecting the fact that the distance from source to itself is obviously 0 and the fact that the other vertices are yet to be reached. The correctness of Dijkstra's algorithm relies of the following fact (which will be proved in the Algorithms course, 22C:21): the vertex in Q with smallest distance estimate, has the correct distance estimate. This allows us to perform the delete operation on Q and extract the vertex u, with smallest distance estimate (Line 9). At this point, vertex u is considered settled; it will never reenter Q. Then we visit each neighbor v of u to check if dist[v] can be improved by traveling to v via an alternate path that involves going from source to u along a shortest path and then taking edge {u, v}. If this alternate shortest path is an improvement, then dist[v] is improved (Lines 12-15) and the heap is updated to reflect the change in the priority of vertex v. It is easy to see that the main loop in the code runs n times, picking out one vertex from Q in each iteration.

As an illustration, consider the edge-weighted graph shown below and suppose that we want to compute shortest paths from vertex A to all other vertices in the graph.

graph 1
Then initially the heap will contain all vertices, with A having priority 0 and the remaining vertices having priority infinity. The following table shows the execution of Dijkstra's Shortest Path algorithm; each row corresponds to the state of the algorithm before each iteration. The first row describes the initial state of the algorithm. The entry "I" stands for infinity, the entry "S" stands for "settled" (i.e., a vertex which has exited the heap); any vertex that is not "S" corresponds to the priority of that vertex in the heap. So, for example, Row 3 tells us that before iteration 3, Q contains vertices C, D, E, F, G with priorities 4, 3, 5, 5, 6. Since D has lowest priority, it exits Q in iteration 3. The one "interesting" event that happens during the execution of this algorithm, happens in iteration 3, during which a path A-B-D-F of length 4 from A to F is discovered. Note that even though this path is 3 hops long it is shorter than the 1-hop path A-F.
A 	B 	C 	D 	E 	F 	G 
0 	I	I	I	I	I	I
S	1	I	I	I	5	6
S	S	4	3	5	5	6
S	S	4	S	5	4	6
S	S	S	S	5	4	6
S	S	S	S	5	S	6
S	S	S	S	S	S	6

Based on the above description, implement the following methods as part of the myWeightedGraph class.

  1. int[] DSP(String source): As described in Homework 11, this method reurns the shortest paths from the vertex source to all other vertices, stored as a tree rooted at source.
  2. String[] shortestPath(String source, String dest, String attribute): The argument attribute can take on two valid values: "hops" and "weights." When the value of attribute takes on the value "hops," the method should return a shortest path in hops from the vertex source to the vertex dest. This we have already computed by using the breadth first method. When the value of attribute takes on the value "weights," the method should return a shortest path, that takes edge weights into consideration, from the vertex source to the vertex dest. This is computed by calling the method DSP.
Feel free to add other methods that provide other information about shortest paths.

Using a Hash Table to Store Vertex Names

The getIndex method in our graph class is a big bottleneck; as implemented it takes linear time (in the number of vertices) and gets called very often from the other methods in the class. One way to fix this problem is to use a hash table (see for example, the Dictionary class) to store vertex names. One way to do this is to define a Vertex object that keeps track of (i) the name of the vertex and (ii) the neighbors of the vertex and store Vertex objects in the hash table. More specifically, each Vertex object should have (at the very least) the following fields: The String field (i.e., the name of the vertex) will be used to hash each vertex into a slot in the hash table. Collisions are deal with (as before) using chaining. Thus the hash table will be an array of linked lists of Vertex objects.

Making this change has a pretty significant impact on the graph class. Here are some of the implications.

This part of the project is different from the other parts because it involves making a lot of minor changes to various parts of the graph class. Therefore, it is easier to make mistakes/typos etc. My suggestion is to comment out most of the graph class and one-by-one uncomment, modify, and test each method. You should not move on to the next method until the method is completely tested.


You should have two graph classes: one called myWeightedGraph and the other called myWeightedFastGraph. The myWeightedGraph is the graph class before you made the transition to using a hash table for the vertices. It should contain all the graph methods we have discussed including methods related to Dijkstra's shortest path (mentioned above in this handout). The myWeightedFastGraph class is what you get by modifying the myWeightedGraph class so that vertices are stored in a hash table. It is ok for the myWeightedFastGraph class to be incomplete in the sense that it may not contain all of the methods of the myWeightedGraph class. But, it is important that whatever it contains be correct and well-tested.

Perform the following experiments.

  1. By performing Experiment 1 in Project 1 we discovered that it is not possible to travel from Yakima, WA to Wilmington, DE along edges of length at most 200 miles. However, if we use edges of length at most 450 miles then yes, this is possible (see my output for Project 1). Find a shortest path in miles from Yakima, WA to Wilmington, DE in the city graph containing all 128 cities and edges of length at most 450 miles. You will be using the shortestPath method with attribute "weights." It is fine to use the myWeightedGraph class for this experiment.

  2. As in Homework 10 and Homework 11, generate 20 random graphs, each with 10,000 vertices and a probability of 30/9999 of each pair of vertices being connected by an edge. To each vertex assign a random String as a name (see generating a random string to see how to do this). Perform this task using the myWeightedGraph class as well as the myWeightedFastGraph class. Output the time it takes to build the graphs using each of the two classes. Comment on how much longer it takes to build the graph using the myWeightedGraph class.

  3. Even though an MST and a shortest path tree are computed using similar algorithms (Prim's and Dijkstra's), they can be quite different from each other. An MST minimizes the total weight/cost of the tree whereas a shortest path tree minimizes the weight/cost of each path from a particular source vertex. To investigate this difference generate 10 random graphs with edge probability 0.5. Assign random real weights in the range [1, 100] to the edges. For each graph compute an MST (call it M) and then compute a shortest path tree (call P) from an arbitrarily chosen vertex (call it s). Report the total weight of M and P - you should see that P's weight is at least as much as M's weight. Also report the the average distance from all vertices to s in M as well as in P - you should see that the average distance in M is at least as much as the average distance in P. Note that you will be reporting 4 numbers for each generated graph and therefore a total of 40 numbers. It is fine to use the myWeightedGraph class for this experiment. Explain the plots your results.

  4. Ignoring the TSP methods, the costliest methods in the graph classes are probably connectedComponents, MST, and DSP. In this experiment you are asked to compare the running times of these methods in myWeightedGraph class to the running times in myWeightedFastGraph class. Generate random graphs for n = 10000, 10100, 10200, 10300,..., 10900 with p = 30/(n-1); assign a random real weight in [1, 100] to each edge and assign a random string name to each vertex. For each of the 10 (n, p) values mentioned above, generate 10 random graphs with that value of n and p. Make sure that each generated graph is also connected up, in the way described in Homework 10 and has just one connected component. Compute the MST of each graph and then run DSP to compute shortest paths from an arbitrarily chosen source. Do this once with myWeightedGraph and once with myWeightedFastGraph. Report separately for each implementation (i) the average time it took to check if the graph is connected or not, (ii) the average time to compute an MST, and (iii) the average time it took to run DSP. These averages are computed over the 10 runs with the same value of n. Make 3 plots, one for connectedComponents, one for MST, and one for TSP. Each plot should show the running time of the method in myWeightedGraph and in myWeightedFastGraph as a function of n. Explain the plots you get.

What to submit

Submit all you source code in a zip file. Submit a "README" file - call it project3.readme, that enumerates errors, incomplete implementations, extremely slow methods, etc. You'll loose extra points if we find errors not listed in your "README" file, so it is important for you to have a good sense of how correct your implementation is. Submit a file called project3.pdf that contains the output of your experiments, the plots, and your explanation of the plots.