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146
Chapter 6
Problem Solving and Algorithm Design
Some typical questions you should be asking are as follows:
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What do I know about the problem?
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What is the information that I have to process in order the find the
solution?
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What does the solution look like?
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What sort of special cases exist?
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How will I recognize that I have found the solution?
Look for Familiar Things
You should never reinvent the wheel. If a solution exists, use it. If you’ve
solved the same or a similar problem before, just repeat the successful solu
tion. We usually don’t consciously think, “I have seen this before, and I
know what to do,” we just do it. Humans are good at recognizing similar
situations. We don’t have to learn how to go to the store to buy milk, then
to buy eggs, then to buy candy. We know that going to the store is always
the same and only what we buy is different.
Recognizing familiar situations is particularly useful in computing. In
computing, you see certain problems again and again in different guises. A
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2011 for the course CSE 1550 taught by Professor Marianakant during the Fall '10 term at York University.
 Fall '10
 MARIANAKANT

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