Assignment 4: Recursion


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Assignment 4: Recursion

![Sierpinski Triangle](250px-Sierpinski_triangle.svg.png “Sierpinski triangle”)

The best way to understand recursion is to practice writing recursive functions.
In the comments of [a4.h](a4.h) are a series of questions, each of which asks
you to write two functions: an **answer function** that answers the question,
and a **test function** that tests your answer function. For each question,
write both functions.

Put your answer and test functions in [a4.cpp](a4.cpp), and use
[a4_main.cpp](a4_main.cpp) to call the test functions. When you’re done, you’ll
submit only [a4.cpp](a4.cpp).

You will need to compile [a4.cpp](a4.cpp) and [a4_main.cpp](a4_main.cpp)
separately, and then link their `.o` files into executable for running the
tests. A special-purpose [makefile](makefile) is provided to simplify the
compiling and linking. Read the comments at the top of [makefile](makefile) to
see how it can be used.

### Pre-conditions and Post-conditions

The functions are specified using *pre-conditions*, *post-conditions*, and
*constraints*. For example:

// Pre-condition:
// n >= 0
// Post-condition:
// Returns the sum of the first n integers, i.e. 1 + 2 + 3 + … + n.
// If n is 0, then 0 is returned.
// Constraints:
// Must be implemented using recursion (and no loops). You can write
// helper functions if necessary.
// Note:
// You don’t need to worry about sums that overflow int.
int sum(int n);

The **pre-condition** states what must be true *before* the function is called,
and the **post-condition** states what must be true *after* the function returns
correctly (assuming that the pre-condition was true before the function was

**Constraints** lists anything else that is required for the function to be
considered correct.

If a function’s pre-condition is *false* when the function is called, then that
means it’s being called with bad input, and so you probably have a bug somewhere
earlier in your code.

> **Hint** A good way to check pre-conditions bugs is to call `assert` at the
> start of a function to check if the pre-condition is true.

## Testing

For each question, also write a corresponding **test function** that
*automatically* runs tests on the answer function. For example, the test
function for `sum` could be this:

#include <cassert>

// …

void sum_test() {
cout << “Testing sum … “;
assert(sum(0) == 0);
assert(sum(1) == 1);
assert(sum(2) == 1 + 2);
assert(sum(3) == 1 + 2 + 3);
assert(sum(4) == 1 + 2 + 3 + 4);
cout << “all sum tests passed!\n”;

In some cases, you might prefer to use an if-statement rather than `assert`.
The test `assert(sum(2) == 1 + 2)` could be written like this:

if (sum(2) != 1 + 2) cmpt::error(“test failed”);

However you write your tests, make sure they all run successfully and are
checked *automatically*.

You may also want to use [cmpt_trace.h](cmpt_trace.h) to help debug your
functions. It prints messages when functions are called and when they exit,
which can be helpful for understanding and debugging recursive functions. See
the comments in [cmpt_trace.h](cmpt_trace.h) for an example of how to use it.

## General Implementation Constraints

– **No loops are permitted** in any of the code you write for this assignment
(not even in the test functions or helper functions). If your code for a
question uses a loop then you will get 0 for that question.

– You **can** use helper functions if you like, as long as you write them
yourself and they don’t use loops. Don’t use code from the web or other

– **Do not** use any global variables, static local variables, or other such
tricks when implementing your functions. Just use functions, parameters, and
return values in the style shown in the notes and in lectures.

– Use **exactly** the function names and parameters given in [a4.h](a4.h).
**Don’t change them in any way**.

– **Do not** #include any files other than those that are already in

## Submitting Your Work

On Canvas, please submit *just* the file[a4.cpp](a4.cpp) with your answers in
it. Don’t submit anything else.

The marker will use [the assignment makefile](makefile) to compile your
[a4.cpp](a4.cpp) and link it with their own `main()` function. A copy of
[a4.h](a4.h), [cmpt_error.h](cmpt_error.h), [cmpt_trace.h](cmpt_trace.h), and
[cmpt_trace.cpp](cmpt_trace.cpp) will be in the same folder as your program when
it runs.

## Basic Requirements

Before we give your program any marks, it must meet the following basic

– It must compile on Ubuntu Linux using the [makefile](makefile) in this
assignment. Just type `make`:

$ make
g++ -std=c++17 -Wall -Wextra -Werror -Wfatal-errors -Wno-sign-compare -Wnon-virtual-dtor -g -c -o a4.o a4.cpp
g++ -std=c++17 -Wall -Wextra -Werror -Wfatal-errors -Wno-sign-compare -Wnon-virtual-dtor -g -c -o a4_main.o a4_main.cpp
g++ -std=c++17 -Wall -Wextra -Werror -Wfatal-errors -Wno-sign-compare -Wnon-virtual-dtor -g -c -o cmpt_trace.o cmpt_trace.cpp
g++ -o a4_main_test a4.o a4_main.o cmpt_trace.o

$ ./a4_main_test


[makefile](makefile) is customized for this assignment: it’s not the usual
course makefile. Notice also that the name of the executable it builds is
`a4_main_test`. See the comments at the top of [makefile](makefile) for how
to use it.

If your program fails to compile using this [makefile](makefile), your mark
for this assignment will be 0.

– It must have no memory leaks or memory errors, according to `valgrind`,

$ valgrind ./a4_main_test

// … lots of output …

A program is considered to have no memory error if:

– In the `LEAK SUMMARY`, `definitely lost`, `indirectly lost`, and `possibly
lost` must all be 0.

– The `ERROR SUMMARY` reports 0 errors.

– It is usually okay if **still reachable** reports a non- zero number of

– **You must include the large comment section with student info and the
statement of originality**. If your submitted file does not have this, then
we will assume your work is not original and it will not be marked.

If your program meets all these basic requirements, then it will be graded
using the marking scheme.

## Marking Scheme

### Overall source code readability: 5 marks

– All code is sensibly and consistently indented, and all lines are 100
characters in length, or less.
– Whitespace is used to group related pieces of a code to make it easier for
humans to read. All whitespace has a purpose.
– Variable and function names are self-descriptive.
– Appropriate features of C++ are used, as discussed in class and in the notes.
**Note** If you use a feature that we haven’t discussed in class, **you must
explain it in a comment**, even if you think it’s obvious.
– Comments are used when needed to explain chunks of code whose purpose is not
obvious from the code itself. There should be *no* commented-out code from
previous versions.

### Source code correctness: 20 marks

– **1 mark** for correctly and efficiently implementing each solver function.
– **1 mark** for thoroughly testing each requested recursive function with its
own test function.

### Deductions

– **-1 mark** (at least) if your file does not have the correct name, or you
submit it in the incorrect format, submit the wrong file, etc.
– up to **-3 marks** if you do not include your full name, email, and SFU ID in
the header of your file.
– **a score of 0** if you don’t include the “statement of originality in the
header of your file.
– **a score of 0** if you accidentally submit a “wrong” non-working file, and
then *after the due date* submit the “right” file. If you can provide evidence
that you finished the assignment on time, then it may be marked (and probably
with a late penalty).

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