[Algorithms I] Week 4-2a Elementry Symbol Tables

1. Symbol Table API

key-value pair abstraction

  • insert a value with a key
  • given a key, search for its value

Association array abstraction

Associate a value to a key — generalized array: a[key]=val.

public class ST<Key, Value>{   
    void put(Key k, Value v);//remove key if value=null   
    Value get(Key k);//return null if key is absent   
    void delete(Key k);   
    boolean contains(Key k);   
    boolean isEmpty();   
    int size();   
    Iterable<Key> keys();//better to return an ordered sequence of keys   


  • values are not null
  • get() returns null if key not present
  • put() can overwrite older value

→ some one-line implementations:

  • contains: return get(k)!=null;
  • delete: put(k, null);

Assume keys to be comparable: class ST<Key implements Comparable<Key>, Value>— can thus use compareTo() method.
Else → we can only use the equals() method...
Be careful when implementing the equals method: 坑不少...

2. Elementary implementations

naive implementations

using unordered linked list

ListNode{key, value, next}

  • search: scan through all keys ~N
  • insert: scan through, if not found, add to front ~N

using ordered array

using 2 arrays: keys[] (sorted), vals[]
⇒ can improve performance by binary search

search operation
write a function rank() that returns the number of keys < k searched.
找不到的时候: 比k小的元素个数=lo (lo>hi, 可以想想当hi=lo以后是怎么移动的)

private int rank(Key k){   
    int lo=0, hi=keys.length-1;   
        int mid = lo + (hi-lo)/2;   
        int cmp = keys[mid].compareTo(keys[k]);   
        if(cmp==0) return mid;   
        else if(cmp>0) hi = mid-1;   
        else lo = mid+1;   
    return lo;   

Using rank() to implement the get() method:

public Value get(Key k){   
    int rk = rank(k);   
    if(rk<N && keys[rk].compareTo(k)==0) return vals[rk];   
    return null;   

insert operation
Like insertion sort, time complexity is ~N for each insert.


3. Ordered Opeartions

When keys are comparable ⇒ provide more functionalities in the API.
for example:

  • min()/max(): min/max key
  • deleteMin()/deleteMax()
  • floor(Key k)/ceiling(Key k): largest key <=k / smallest key >=k
  • rank(Key k): nb of keys < key
  • select(int i): key with rank=i
  • Iterator<Key> keys(lo, hi): iterates through [lo, hi]

comments powered by Disqus