Algorithms (2019/2020)

Course code
4S02709
Credits
12
Coordinator
Ferdinando Cicalese
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
ALGORITMI PER BIOINFORMATICA 6 INF/01-INFORMATICS I semestre Ferdinando Cicalese
LABORATORIO DI PROGRAMMAZIONE II 6 INF/01-INFORMATICS See the unit page See the unit page

Learning outcomes

The course aims at providing the fundamental methodological tools for the design and analysis of al-gorithms with emphasis on their employment in the solution of simple bioinformatics problems. The students will learn to implement basic algorithmic solution and fundamental data structures for solving problems in bioinformatics by employing object oriented programming. The course is structured on two modules: Algoritmi per Bioinformatica and Laboratorio di Programmazione II, which are detaled below.

Module 1: The students will learn foundations of algorithm design and analysis. They will be able to model simple (real world) problems in terms of computational problems; to quantify the computational resources necessary to execute an algorithm, hence to compare different algorithmic solutions in terms of their computational cost. In particular, a student who has profitably attended the course, will be able to evaluate the applicability and effectiveness of basic algorithmic design techniques to simple computational problems.

Module 2: The aim of this module is to provide the basic knowledge to implement fundamental algorithms using object oriented programming. The reference programming language is Java. The teaching methodology includes assisted software development and the implementation of specific projects focussed on applications that are relevant to bioinformatics. At the end of the course the student will be able to use the main data structures available in Java and develop new data structures for the implementation of specific software modules.

Syllabus

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MM: ALGORITMI PER BIOINFORMATICA
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Basic definitions: Computational Problems and Algorithms Analysis of algorithms: worst case and average case analysis; Algorithmic complexity: asymptotic notations; basic tools for the analysis of algorithms; solution of recurrences; Algorithms for searching sorting and selection. Data Structure for the implementing a dictionary: queues, heaps, binary search trees, hash tables; Design techniques: divide and conquer; greedy; dynamic programming; Graphs and Graph algorithms: graph traversals, basic connectivity problems, topological sorting
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MM: LABORATORIO DI PROGRAMMAZIONE II
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Object oriented programming and the Java language. Implementation of simple programs in Java (primitive types and control structures). Definition of classes and methods. Exception management in Java. Recursion. Interfaces and packages. Implementation of sorting algorithms, search (greedy and exhaustive) and main algorithms on graphs, applied to problems that are relevant to bioinformatics. All the teaching material for this course is available on the course web page hosted on the teachers' web site.

Assessment methods and criteria

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MM: ALGORITMI PER BIOINFORMATICA
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The exam verifies that the students have acquired sufficient confidence and skill in the use of basic algorithmic design and algorithmic analysis tools. The exam consists of a written test with open questions. The test includes some mandatory exercises and a set of exercises among which the student can choose what to work on. The mandatory exercises are meant to evaluate the student's knowledge of classical algorithms and analysis tools as seen during the course. "Free-choice" exercises test the ability of students to model "new" toy problems and design and analyse algorithmic solutions for it. The exam can also be passed via two midterm tests (structured as the main final exam). The relative weight of the midterm tests is proportional to the part of the course on which their are based. The overall result of the midterm exams is only valid towards the registration at the one of the exams in February session.
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MM: LABORATORIO DI PROGRAMMAZIONE II
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The exam for "Programming Laboratory II" involves the implementation and verification of code written in Java language and it is performed using the computer. The exam can be carried out by partial tests or by a single test. Partial exam is made up of a computer test (conducted in the lab during the course) and a project (developed during the course) that will be presented in an oral exam to the teacher at the end of the course. The final vote is given by the average of the votes of the two partial tests. Exam without partial testing is a single computer test performed at the exam dates. All tests and projects are individual work. Cheating is strictly forbidden and will determine lowering of grades for all students involved.

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The final overall grade for "Algorithms" is given by the average of the grades achieved for the module "Algorithms for Bioinformatics" and the grade achieved for the module "Programming Laboratory II".

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
J. Kleinberg, É. Tardos Algorithm Design (Edizione 1) Addison Wesley 2006 978-0321295354
Neil C. Jones, Pavel A. Pevzner An introduction to bioinformatics algorithms (Edizione 1) MIT Press 2004 0-262-10106-8
Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, Clifford Stein Introduction to Algorithms (Edizione 3) MIT Press 2009 0-262-03384-4