Lab1 - IE 170 Laboratory 1 Search Algorithms Dr T.K Ralphs...

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IE 170 Laboratory 1: Search Algorithms Dr. T.K. Ralphs Due January 31, 2005 1 Laboratory Description and Procedures 1.1 Learning Objectives 1. Understand each of the key terms listed below. 2. Understand why algorithms are important in systems engineering. 3. Understand the three important factors in determining the execution time of an algorithm. 4. Understand how to analyze a simple algorithm, both empirically and theoretically. 1.2 Key Words 1. Algorithm 2. Efficiency 3. Running time 4. Search algorithm 5. Comparison 1.3 Scenario You have just been hired as a consultant by the Internet start-up ExoticBeer.com , an on-line catalog supplying exotic imported beers and homebrewing supplies. Your first job is to help them improve the response time for queries to their on-line catalog. Specifically, you are to write a program implementing a search algorithm that determines whether a given search word that has been typed in by a customer matches any of the entries in an alphabetized list of key words describing items from the catalog (note that generating this alphabetized list requires a sorting algorithm , to be discussed in Laboratory 4). The company plans to carry thousands of items and each item may be referred to by several key words, so the number of key words in the list that must be searched can be extremely large. The goal is to return a response to the customer’s query as quickly as possible and the number of queries received could be in the thousands per hour. If the execution time is too slow, then customers may be lost. 1
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1.4 Designing and Analyzing the Algorithm The efficiency of an algorithm is generally measured by determining the running time as a function of the input size . The running time for a given algorithm can be determined either theoretically , by counting the number of fundamental operations
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