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Divide and Conquer

The most well known algorithm design

strategy:
1. Divide instance of problem into two or
more smaller instances
2. Solve smaller instances recursively
3. Obtain solution to original (larger)
instance by combining these solutions

Divide-and-conquer technique
a problem of size n

subproblem 1
of size n/2

subproblem 2
of size n/2

a solution to
subproblem 1

a solution to
subproblem 2

a solution to
the original problem

Examples

Sorting: mergesort and quicksort

Tree traversals
Binary search
Matrix multiplication-Strassens
algorithm
Convex hull-QuickHull algorithm

General Divide and Conquer

recurrence:
T(n) = aT(n/b) + f (n) where f (n) = (nk)
1.
2.
3.

a < bk
a = bk
a > bk

T(n) = (nk)
T(n) = (nk lg n )
T(n) = (nlog b a)

Mergesort
Algorithm:
Split array A[1..n] in two and make
copies of each half
in arrays B[1.. n/2 ] and C[1.. n/2 ]
Sort arrays B and C
Merge sorted arrays B and C into array A

Mergesort
Algorithm:
Merge sorted arrays B and C into array A as
follows:
Repeat the following until no elements remain in
one of the arrays:
compare the first elements in the remaining
unprocessed portions of the arrays
copy the smaller of the two into A, while
incrementing the index indicating the
unprocessed portion of that array
Once all elements in one of the arrays are
processed, copy the remaining unprocessed
elements from the other array into A.

A: 7 2 1 6 4 9 5
B: 7 2 1 6

C: 4 9 5

B: 1 2 6 7

C: 4 5 9

Sort Each List

Merge the Lists

B: 1

Putting it Together
A: 7 2 1 6 4 9 5
B: 7 2 1 6

C: 4 9 5

B: 1 2 6 7

C: 4 5 9

Each List is sorted by recursively applying mergesort

to the sub-lists
D: 7 2 E: 1 6
H: 7 I: 2

J: 1 K: 6

F: 4 9 G: 5 Split Again
L: 4 M: 9

N: 5

Efficiency of mergesort

All cases have same time efficiency:

( n log n)
Number of comparisons is close to theoretical
minimum for comparison-based sorting:
log (n !) n log n - 1.44 n
Space requirement: ( n ) (NOT in-place)
Can be implemented without recursion
(bottom-up)

Quicksort

Select a pivot (partitioning element)

Rearrange the list so that all the elements in the
positions before the pivot are smaller than or equal
to the pivot and those after the pivot are larger
than the pivot (See algorithm Partition in section
4.2)
Exchange the pivot with the last element in the first
(i.e., sublist) the pivot is now in its final
position
Sort the two sublists
p

A[i]p

A[i]>p

The partition algorithm

Example: 8 1 12 2 6 10 14 15 4 13 9 11 3 7 5

Efficiency of quicksort

( n log n)

( n2)

Average case: random arrays

( n log n)

Efficiency of quicksort

Improvements:
better pivot selection: median of three
partitioning avoids worst case in sorted
files
switch to insertion sort on small subfiles
elimination of recursion
these combine to 20-25% improvement
Considered the method of choice for internal
sorting for large files (n 10000)

QuickHull Algorithm
Inspired by Quicksort compute Convex Hull:
Assume points are sorted by x-coordinate values
Identify extreme points P1 and P2 (part of hull)

P2
P1

QuickHull Algorithm

Compute upper hull:

find point Pmax that is farthest away from line P1P2
compute the hull to the left of line P1Pmax
compute the hull to the right of line P2Pmax
Compute lower hull in a similar manner
Pmax

P2
P1

Efficiency of QuickHull
algorithm

Finding point farthest away from line P1P2

can be done in linear time
This gives same efficiency as quicksort:
Worst case: ( n2)
Average case: ( n log n)

Efficiency of QuickHull
algorithm

If points are not initially sorted by xcoordinate value, this can be accomplished
in ( n log n) no increase in asymptotic
efficiency class
Other algorithms for convex hull:
Grahams scan
DCHull
also in ( n log n)

Closest-Pair Problem:
Divide and Conquer

Brute force approach requires comparing every point with

every other point
Given n points, we must perform 1 + 2 + 3 + + n-2 + n-1
comparisons.
n 1

k
k 1

(n 1) n
2

Brute force O(n2)

The Divide and Conquer algorithm yields O(n log n)
Reminder: if n = 1,000,000 then
n2 =
1,000,000,000,000 whereas
n log n =
20,000,000

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Given: A set of points in 2-D

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Step 1: Sort the points in one D

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Lets sort based on the X-axis
O(n log n) using quicksort or mergesort
4

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Step 2: Split the points, i.e.,
Draw a line at the mid-point between 7 and 8

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Advantage: Normally, wed have to compare
each of the 14 points with every other point.
(n-1)n/2 = 13*14/2 = 91 comparisons
4

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Advantage: Now, we have two sub-problems of
half the size. Thus, we have to do 6*7/2
comparisons twice, which is 42 comparisons
solution d = min(d1, d2)
4

d1

d2
7

3
5

13

10

11

8
12

Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Advantage: With just one split we cut the
number of comparisons in half. Obviously, we
gain an even greater advantage if we split the
sub-problems.
d = min(d1, d2)

d1

d2
7

3
5

13

10

11

8
12

Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Problem: However, what if the closest two
points are each from different sub-problems?

d1

d2
7

3
5

13

10

11

8
12

Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Here is an example where we have to compare
points from sub-problem 1 to the points in subproblem 2.

d1

6
7

3
1

13

d2
10

11

12
Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
However, we only have to compare points inside
the following strip.
d = min(d1, d2)
4

d1

3
1

13

d2
10

11

8
12

Sub-Problem 1

Sub-Problem 2

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Step 3: But, we can continue the advantage by
splitting the sub-problems.

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Step 3: In fact we can continue to split until each
sub-problem is trivial, i.e., takes one comparison.

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Finally: The solution to each sub-problem is
combined until the final solution is obtained

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm
Finally: On the last step the strip will likely be
very small. Thus, combining the two largest subproblems wont require much work.

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

14

Closest-Pair Algorithm

In this example, it takes 22 comparisons to find the

closets-pair.
The brute force algorithm would have taken 91
comparisons.
But, the real advantage occurs when there are
millions of points.
4

3
1

13

10

11

8
12

14

Closest-Pair Problem:
Divide and Conquer

Here is another animation:

http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~cs251/ClosestPair/Close
stPairApplet/ClosestPairApplet.html

Remember

Homework is due on Friday

In class and on paper

There is a talk today:

4PM RB 340 or 328
Darren Lim (faculty candidate)
Bioinformatics: Secondary Structure
Prediction in Proteins

Long Term

HW7 will be given on Friday.

Itll be due on Wed.
Itll be returned on Friday.
Exam2 will be on Monday the 22nd