CS 170. Efficient Algorithms and Intractable Problems

Catalog Description: Concept and basic techniques in the design and analysis of algorithms; models of computation; lower bounds; algorithms for optimum search trees, balanced trees and UNION-FIND algorithms; numerical and algebraic algorithms; combinatorial algorithms. Turing machines, how to count steps, deterministic and nondeterministic Turing machines, NP-completeness. Unsolvable and intractable problems.

Units: 4

Prerequisites: COMPSCI 61B and COMPSCI 70.

Spring: 3.0 hours of lecture and 1.0 hours of discussion per week
Summer: 6.0 hours of lecture and 2.0 hours of discussion per week
Fall: 3.0 hours of lecture and 1.0 hours of discussion per week

Grading basis: letter

Final exam status: Written final exam conducted during the scheduled final exam period

Class Schedule (Fall 2023):
CS 170 – TuTh 12:30-13:59, Wheeler 150 – John Wright, Nika Haghtalab

Class Schedule (Spring 2024):
CS 170 – TuTh 15:30-16:59, Li Ka Shing 245 – Christian H Borgs, Prasad Raghavendra

Class homepage on inst.eecs

Department Notes:

Course objectives: Provide familiarity with algorithms for recurring basic problems. Learn to design algorithms to solve novel problems. Learn about the concept of the intrinsic difficulty of certain computational problems.

Topics covered:

  • Divide and conquer
  • Graphs and trees
  • Depth-first search
  • Topological sort; strongly-connected components
  • Breadth-first search
  • Shortest paths; Dijkstra and Bellman-Ford
  • Minimum spanning trees
  • Union/find analysis
  • Hufmann codes
  • Lempel-Ziv codes
  • Randomized min-cut
  • Hashing
  • Bloom filters
  • Dynamic programming
  • Linear programming; posing of combinatorial problems as LP problems
  • Duality
  • Network flows
  • NP completeness
  • Approximation algorithms
  • Fast Fourier transform

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