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CS 2210 — Data Structures and Algorithms
Assignment 2: Board Game with Hash Tables

Total marks: 20
1 Overview
For this assignment you need to write a Java program that plays the following board game. Two
players take turns putting colored tiles on a square gameboard of size n × n. The goal is for a player
to place n of their tiles in the same row, column, or diagonal of the board, similarly as in the game of
tic tac toe. However, at least k positions on the board need to be empty, where k is a value specified
when running the program. If while playing the game there are exactly k empty positions on the
board and no player has won then the players take turns sliding onto one of the empty positions of
the board one of their tiles adjacent to that empty position; tiles can be slid horizontally, vertically,
or in diagonal. If the number of empty positions is k and on their turn a player does not have any
tiles adjacent to the empty positions of the board the game ends in a draw.
Your program will play against a human opponent. The human player uses blue tiles and always
starts the game. The computer uses orange tiles. Empty positions on the board are green.
Figure 1 (a) shows a possible set of tiles on a board of size 3 × 3 where k = 1. If the next player
to move is the human then theythe human player can slide any of the tiles in positions 2, 3, or 5 into
position 6. If, for example, the tile in position 3 is moved to position 6 the board will look as shown
in Figure 1 (b). Since now it is the turn of the computer, the game ends in a draw as there is no
orange tile adjacent to the empty position.
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
(b)
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
(a)
Figure 1: Board game.
You will be given code for displaying the gameboard on the screen and for playing the game.
However, there are several Java classes that you need to implement as described in the next sections.
If you are interested in knowing how the algorithm for playing the above game works additional
information is posted in the course’s website.
2 Board Configurations
In each turn the computer examines all possible moves and selects the best one; to do this, each
possible move is assigned a score. Your program will use the following 4 scores for moves:
• 0: if a move ensures that the human player wins
• 1: if after a move is selected it is not clear who will win
• 2: if a move leads to a draw
• 3: if a move guarantees that the computer wins the game.
For example, suppose that the gameboard looks like the one in Figure 2(a). If the computer plays
in position 8, the game will end in a draw (see Figure 1(b)), so the score for the computer playing in
position 8 is 2. We say that the score for the board configuration in Figure 1(b) is 2, where a board
configuration is simply the positioning of the tiles on the gameboard. Similarly, the score for the
board configuration in Figure 1(c) is 3, since in this case the computer wins the game.
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
(b)
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
(c)
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
(a)
Figure 2: Board configurations.
3 Classes to Implement
You are to implement at least 4 Java classes: Configuration.java, HashDictionary.java,
DictionaryException.java, and BoardGame.java. You can implement more classes if you need
to. You must write all the code yourself. You cannot use code from the textbook, the Internet, or
any other sources. You cannot use Java’s Hashtable class or hashCode() method.
3.1 Class Configuration
This class stores the data that each entry of HashDictionary will contain. An object of this class
stores a board configuration and its integer score, as explained above. Each board configuration will
be represented as a string as follows. A blue tile is represented with the character ’b’, an orange
tile with ’o’, and a green empty space with ’g’. To form a string for a given board configuration we
concatenate the characters corresponding to the tiles and empty positions on the board starting at the
upper left position and moving top to bottom and left to right. For example, for the configurations
in Figure 2, their string representations are “obbbogbog”, “obbboobog”, and “obbbogboo”.
For this class, you must implement all and only the following public methods:
• public Configuration(String config, int score): A constructor which returns a new
Configuration object with the specified configuration string and score. The string config
will be used as the key attribute for every Configuration object.
• public String getStringConfiguration(): Returns the configuration string stored in a
Configuration object.
• public int getScore(): Returns the score stored in a Configuration object.
You can implement any other methods that you want to in this class, but they must be declared as
private methods (i.e. not accessible to other classes).
3.2 Class HashDictionary
This class implements a dictionary using a hash table with separate chaining. You will decide on the
size of the table, keeping in mind that the size of the table must be a prime number. A table of size
between 5000-10000, should work well.
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You must design your hash function so that it produces few collisions. A bad hash function that
induces many collisions will result in a lower mark. As mentioned above, you cannot use Java’s
hashCode() method in your hash function.
For this class, you must implement all the public methods in the following interface:
public interface DictionaryADT {
public int put(Configuration pair) throws DictionaryException;
public void remove(String config) throws DictionaryException;
public int getScore(String config);
}
The descriptions of these methods follows:
• public int put(Configuration data) throws DictionaryException: Inserts the given
Configuration object referenced by data in the dictionary. This method must throw a
DictionaryException (see below) if the configuration string stored in data, is already in
the dictionary.
You are required to implement the dictionary using a hash table with separate chaining. To
determine how good your design is, we will count the number of collisions produced by your
hash function. Method put will return the value 1 if the insertion of the object referenced by
data into the hash table produces a collision, and it will return the value 0 otherwise. In other
words, if for example your hash function is h(key) and the name of your table is T, this method
will return the value 1 if the list in T[h(data.getStringConfiguration())] already stores at
least one element; it will return 0 if the list in T[h(data.getStringConfiguration())] was
empty before the insertion.
• public void remove(String config) throws DictionaryException: Removes the entry
with configuration string config from the dictionary. Must throw a DictionaryException
(see below) if the configuration is not in the dictionary.
• public int getScore(String config): A method which returns the score stored in the
dictionary for the given configuration string, or -1 if the configuration string is not in the
dictionary.
Since your HashDictionary class must implement all the methods of the DictionaryADT interface, the declaration of your method should be as follows:
public class HashDictionary implements DictionaryADT
You can download the file DictionaryADT.java from the course’s website. The only other public
method that you can implement in the HashDictionary class is the constructor method, which must
be declared as follows
public HashDictionary(int size)
this initializes a dictionary with an empty hash table of the specified size.
You can implement any other methods that you want to in this class, but they must be declared
as private methods (i.e. not accessible to other classes).
Hint. You might want to implement a class Node storing an object of type Configuration and
a link object of type Node to construct the linked list associated to an entry of the hash table. You
do not need to follow this suggestion. You can implement the lists associated with the entries of the
table in any way you want.
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3.3 Class DictionaryException
This is just the class implementing the class of exceptions thrown by the put and remove methods
of HashDictionary.
3.4 Class BoardGame
This class implements all the support methods needed by the algorithm that plays the board game.
For details on this algorithm see the additional documentation posted on the course’s website. The
constructor for this class must be as follows
public BoardGame (int board size, int empty positions, int max levels)
The first parameter specifies the size of the gameboard, the second one is the number of positions on
the board that must remain empty, and the third one specifies the playing quality of the program
(the higher this value is the better the program will play, but the slower it will be; when you test
your program use values between 3 and 5 so the program plays OK and it is not too slow).
This class must have an instance variable called gameBoard of type char[][] to store the gameboard. This variable is initialized inside the above constructor method so that every entry of
gameBoard stores a ’g’. As the game is played, every entry of gameBoard will store one of the
characters ’b’, ’o’, or ’g’. This class must also implement the following public methods.
• public HashDictionary makeDictionary(): returns an empty HashDictionary of the size
that you have selected.
• public int isRepeatedConfig(HashDictionary dict): This method first represents the
content of gameBoard as a string as described above; then it checks whether the string representing the gameBoard is in dict: If it is, this method returns its associated score; otherwise
it returns the value -1.
• public void putConfig(HashDictionary dict, int score): This method first represents
the content of gameBoard as a string as described above; then it inserts this string and its
score in dict.
• public void savePlay(int row, int col, char symbol): This method stores symbol in
gameBoard[row][col].
• public boolean positionIsEmpty (int row, int col): This method returns true if
gameBoard[row][col] is ’g’; otherwise it returns false.
• public boolean tileOfComputer (int row, int col): This method returns true if
gameBoard[row][col] is ’o’; otherwise it returns false.
• public boolean tileOfHuman (int row, int col): Returns true if gameBoard[row][col]
is ’b’; otherwise it returns false.
• public boolean wins (char symbol): Returns true if there are n adjacent tiles of type
symbol in the same row, column, or diagonal of gameBoard, where n is the size of the gameboard.
• public boolean isDraw(char symbol, int empty positions): Returns true if the game
configuration corresponding to gameBoard is a draw assuming that the player that will perform
the next move uses tiles of the type specified by symbol. The second parameter is the number
of positions of the gameboard that must remain empty.
Remember that a game is a draw if no player has won and either:
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– empty positions = 0 and there are no empty positions left on the game board, or
– empty positions 0 and none of the empty positions on the gameboard has a tile of the
type specified by symbol adjacent to it.
• public int evalBoard(char symbol, int empty positions): Returns one of the following
values:
⊲ 3, if the computer has won, i.e. there are n adjacent ’o’s in the same row, column, or
diagonal of gameBoard.
⊲ 0, if the human player has won, i.e. there are n adjacent ’b’s in the same row, column, or
diagonal of gameBoard.
⊲ 2, if the game is a draw when the player that needs to make the next move uses tiles of
the type specified by symbol. The second parameter is the number of positions of the
gameboard that must remain empty.
⊲ 1, if the game is still undecided, i.e. no player has won and the game is not a draw.
You can implement more methods in this class, if you want, but they must be declared as private.
4 Classes Provided
You can download classes DictionaryADT.java, PosPlay.java and PlayGame.java from the
course’s website. Class PosPlay is an auxiliary class used by PlayGame to represent plays. Class
PlayGame includes the main method for your program. The program will be executed by typing
java PlayGame size empty positions max levels
where size is the size of the gameboard, empty positions is the number of positions on the gameboard that must remain empty, and max levels is a parameter specifying the playing quality of the
program. Remember that the larger the value of max levels is the better the program will play, but
the slower it will be.
Class PlayGame also contains methods for displaying the gameboard on the screen and for reading
the moves of the human player.
5 Testing your Program
We will perform two kinds of tests on your program: (1) tests for your implementation of the
dictionary, and (2) tests for your implementation of BoardGame. For testing the dictionary we
will run a test program called TestDict which performs a few simple tests to check whether your
dictionary works as specified. We will supply you with a copy of TestDict so you can use it to test
your implementation.
6 Coding Style
Your mark will be based partly on your coding style.
• Variable and method names should be meaningful and they must reflect their purpose in the
program.
• Comments, indenting, and white spaces should be used to improve readability.
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• No variable declarations should appear outside methods (“instance variables”) unless they
contain data which needs to be maintained in an object from call to call. In other words,
variables which are needed only inside methods should be declared inside those methods.
• All variables declared outside methods (“instance variables”) should be declared private (not
protected), to maximize information hiding. Any outside access to these variables should be
done with accessor methods (like getScore() for Configuration).
7 Marking
Your mark will be computed as follows.
• Program compiles, produces meaningful output: 2 marks.
• HashDictionary tests pass: 4 marks.
• BoardGame tests pass: 4 marks.
• Coding style: 2 marks.
• Hash table implementation: 4 marks.
• BoardGame program implementation: 4 marks.
8 Handing In Your Program
You must submit an electronic copy of your program. To submit your program, login to OWL and
submit your java files from there. Please do not put your code in sub-directories. Do not compress
your files or submit a .zip, .rar, .gzip, or any other compressed file. Only your .java files should be
submitted.
Read the tutorials posted in the course’s website to learn how to copy your program onto your
GAUL account and how to test it there. Remember that the TA’s will test your program on the
computers of the Department. Please also read the tutorials about how to configure Eclipse to read
command line arguments.
When you submit your program, we will receive a copy of it with a datestamp and timestamp.
If you submit your program more than once please send me an email message to let me know. We
will take the latest program submitted as the final version, and will deduct marks accordingly if it
is late.
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