Assignment #5: SneakyRooks

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Programming Assignment #5: SneakyRooks
COP 3502
This is a wrap-up assignment designed to reinforce the kinds of algorithmic and
clever thinking we’ve been building up together over the course of the semester.
In particular, this will serve as an additional exercise in coming up with efficient
solutions to problems, since your solution for this assignment needs to have a
worst-case runtime that does not exceed O(m + n) (linear runtime).
The assignment also involves a direct application of the base conversion
material we covered recently (albeit with a minor twist).
You might find it a bit tricky to solve this problem within the runtime restriction
at first. It’s important to struggle with it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t
solve it right away. Maybe walk away, take a break, and come back to it later
(perhaps even the following day). You might be amazed by what your brain can
do if you let it work on a problem in the background and/or if you come back to
a problem well-rested, with a fresh perspective.
Please feel free to seek out help in office hours if you’re lost, and remember that
it’s okay to have conceptual discussions with other students about this problem,
as long as you’re not sharing code (or pseudocode, which is practically the same
thing). Just keep in mind that you’ll benefit more from this problem if you
struggle with it a bit before discussing it with anyone else.
Note! The capitalization and spelling of your filename matter!
Note! Code must be tested on Eustis, but submitted via Webcourses.
1. Overview
You will be given a list of coordinate strings for rooks on an arbitrarily large square chess board, and you need to
determine whether any of the rooks can attack one another in the given configuration.
In the game of chess, rooks can move any number of spaces horizontally or vertically (up, down, left, or right).
For example, the rook on the following board (denoted with a letter ‘R’) can move to any position marked with
an asterisk (‘*’), and no other positions:
8 *
7 *
6 *
5 *
4 *
3 * * * R * * * *
2 *
1 *
a b c d e f g h
Figure 1: The rook at position d3 can move to any square marked with an asterisk.
Thus, on the following board, none of the rooks (denoted with the letter ‘R’) can attack one another:
4 R
3 R
2 R
1 R
a b c d
Figure 2: A 4×4 board in which none of the rooks can attack one another.
In contrast, on the following board, the rooks at c6 and h6 can attack one another:
8 R
6 R R
4 R
2 R
a b c d e f g h
Figure 3: An 8×8 board in which two of the rooks can attack one another.
2. Chess Board Coordinates
One standard notation for the location of a chess piece on an 8×8 board is to give its column, followed by its row,
as a single string with no spaces. In this coordinate system, columns are labeled a through h (from left to right),
and rows to be numbered 1 through 8 (from bottom to top).
So, for example, the board in Figure 2 (above, on pg. 2) has rooks at positions a3, b1, c4, and d2.
Because you’re going to be dealing with much larger chess boards in this program, you’ll need some sort of
notation that allows you to deal with boards that have more than the 26 columns we can denote with the letters a
through z. Here’s how that will work:
Columns will be labeled a through z (from left to right). After column z, the next 26 columns will be labeled aa
through az. After column az, the next 26 columns will be labeled ba through bz, and so on. After column zz, the
next 26 columns will be labeled aaa through aaz.
Essentially, the columns are given in a base 26 numbering scheme, where digits 1 through 26 are represented
using a through z. However, this counting system is a bit jacked up since there’s no character to represent the
value zero. (That’s part of the fun.)
All the letters in these strings will be lowercase, and all the strings are guaranteed to be valid representations of
board positions. They will not contain spaces or any other unexpected characters.
For example:
1. In the coordinate string a1, the a tells us the piece is in the first column (from the left), and the 1 tells us
the piece is in the first row (from the bottom).
2. Similarly, the string z32 denotes a piece in the 26th column (from the left) and 32nd row (from the
3. The string aa19 represents a piece in the 27th column (from the left) and 19th row (from the bottom).
4. The string fancy58339 would represent a piece in the 2,768,999th column (from the left) and the 58,339th
row (from the bottom).
Converting these strings to their corresponding numeric coordinates is one of a few key algorithmic /
mathemagical challenges you face in this assignment. You will have to write a function that does that for you.
3. Coordinate Struct (SneakyRooks.h)
To store rook coordinates, you must use the struct definition we have specified in SneakyRooks.h without any
modifications. You must #include the header file in your SneakyRooks.c source file like so:
#include “SneakyRooks.h”
Note that the capitalization of SneakyRooks.h matters! Filenames are case sensitive in Linux, and that is of
course the operating system we’ll be using to test your code.
The struct you will use to hold rook coordinates is defined in SneakyRooks.h as follows:
typedef struct Coordinate
int col; // The column where this rook is located (1 through board width).
int row; // The row where this rook is located (1 through board height).
} Coordinate;
4. Runtime Requirements
In order to pass all test cases, the worst-case runtime of your solution cannot exceed O(m + n), where m is both
the length and width of the square chess board, and n is the number of coordinate strings to be processed. This
figure assumes that the length of each coordinate string is bounded by some constant, which means you needn’t
account for that length in your runtime analysis, provided that each string is processed or examined only some
small, constant number of times (e.g., once or twice).
Equivalently, you may conceive of all the string lengths as being less than or equal to k, in which case the worstcase runtime that your solution cannot exceed would be expressed as O(m + nk).
Note! O(m + n) is just another way of writing O(MAX{m, n}), meaning that your runtime can be linear with
respect to m or n – whichever one happens to be the dominant term for any individual test case.
5. Function Requirements
In the source file you submit, SneakyRooks.c, you must implement the following functions. You may implement
any auxiliary functions you need to make these work, as well. Please be sure the spelling, capitalization, and
return types of your functions match these prototypes exactly. Please do not include a main() function in your
int allTheRooksAreSafe(char **rookStrings, int numRooks, int boardSize);
Description: Given an array of strings, each of which represents the location of a rook on a square
boardSize × boardSize chess board, return 1 if none of the rooks can attack one another. Otherwise,
return 0. You must do this in O(numRooks + boardSize) time. Be sure to avoid memory leaks.
Parameter Restrictions: boardSize will be a positive integer describing both the length and width of the
square board. (So, if boardSize = 8, then we have an 8 × 8 board.) rookStrings will be a non-NULL (but
possibly empty) array of strings. Any strings within that array will be unique (there will be no repeats),
and all of those strings are guaranteed to follow the format described above for valid coordinates on a
boardSize × boardSize board. numRooks will be a non-negative integer indicating the number of strings
in the rookStrings array.
Output: This function should not print anything to the screen.
Runtime Requirement: This function’s runtime must be no worse than O(numRooks + boardSize). For
details, see Section 4, “Runtime Requirements” (above). Note that repeated calls to C’s built-in pow()
function (or a home-brewed pow() function) would be ill-advised, because that function will not have an
O(1) runtime. Instead, use Horner’s Rule when calculating multiple powers of the same base.
Returns: 1 if all the rooks are safe, 0 otherwise.
void parseCoordinateString(char *rookString, Coordinate *rookCoordinate);
Description: Parse through rookString to determine the numeric row and column where the given rook
resides on the chess board, and populate rookCoordinate with that information. You may assume that
rookString is non-NULL, and that it contains a valid coordinate string using the format described above
in Section 2, “Chess Board Coordinates.” You may assume that rookCoordinate is non-NULL and is a
pointer to an existing Coordinate struct.
Returns: Nothing. This is a void function.
double difficultyRating(void);
Returns: A double indicating how difficult you found this assignment on a scale of 1.0 (ridiculously
easy) through 5.0 (insanely difficult).
double hoursSpent(void);
Returns: A reasonable and realistic estimate (greater than zero) of the number of hours you spent on this
6. Running All Test Cases on Eustis (
The test cases included with this assignment are designed to show you some ways in which we might test your
code and to shed light on the expected functionality of your code. We’ve also included a script,, that
will compile and run all test cases for you.
Super Important: Using the script to test your code on Eustis is the safest, most sure-fire way to
make sure your code is working properly before submitting.
To run on Eustis, first transfer it to Eustis in a folder with SneakyRooks.c, SneakyRooks.h, all the test
case files, and the sample_output directory. Transferring all your files to Eustis with MobaXTerm is fairly
straightforward, but if you want to transfer them from a Linux or Mac command line, here’s how you do it:
1. At your command line on your own system, use cd to go to the folder that contains all your files for this
project (SneakyRooks.c, SneakyRooks.h,, the test case files, and the sample_output folder).
2. From that directory, type the following command (replacing YOUR_NID with your actual NID) to transfer
that whole folder to Eustis:
scp -r $(pwd)
Warning: Note that the $(pwd) in the command above refers to your current directory when you’re at the
command line in Linux or Mac OS. The command above transfers the entire contents of your current
directory to Eustis. That will include all subdirectories, so for the love of all that is good, please don’t run
that command from your desktop folder if you have a ton of files on your desktop!
Once you have all your files on Eustis, you can run by connecting to Eustis and typing the following:
If you put those files in their own folder on Eustis, you will first have to cd into that directory. For example:
cd SneakyRooksProject
That command (bash will also work on Linux systems and with the bash shell for Windows. It will
not work at the Windows Command Prompt, and it might have limited functionality in Mac OS.
Warning: When working at the command line, any spaces in file names or directory names either need to be
escaped in the commands you type (cd project\ 5), or the entire name needs to be wrapped in double quotes.
7. Running the Provided Test Cases Individually
If the script is telling you that some of your test cases are failing, you’ll want to compile and run those
test cases individually to inspect their output. Here’s how to do that:
1. Place all the test case files released with this assignment in one folder, along with your SneakyRooks.c
2. At the command line, cd to the directory with all your files for this assignment, and compile your source
file with one of our test cases (such as testcase01.c) like so:
gcc SneakyRooks.c testcase01.c
3. To run your program and redirect the output to output.txt, execute the following command:
./a.out > output.txt
4. Use diff to compare your output to the expected (correct) output for the program:
diff output.txt sample_output/testcase01-output.txt
If the contents of output.txt and testcase01-output.txt are exactly the same, diff won’t have any output:
seansz@eustis:~$ diff output.txt sample_output/testcase01-output.txt
seansz@eustis:~$ _
If the files differ, diff will spit out some information about the lines that aren’t the same. For example:
seansz@eustis:~$ diff output.txt sample_output/testcase01-output.txt
< fail whale 🙁

> Hooray!
seansz@eustis:~$ _
Super Important: Remember, using the script to test your code on Eustis is the safest, most sure-fire
way to make sure your code is working properly before submitting.
8. Testing for Memory Leaks with Valgrind
Part of the credit for this assignment will be awarded based on your ability to implement the program without
any memory leaks. To test for memory leaks, you can use a program called valgrind, which is installed on
Valgrind will not guarantee that your code is completely free of memory leaks. It will only detect whether any
memory leaks occur when you run your program. So, if you have a function called foo() that has a nasty memory
leak, but you run your program in such a way that foo() never gets called, valgrind won’t be able to find that
potential memory leak.
The script will automatically run your program through all test cases and use valgrind to check
whether any of them result in memory leaks. If you want to run valgrind manually, simply compile your program
with the -g flag, and then run it through valgrind, like so:
gcc SneakyRooks.c testcase01.c -g
valgrind –leak-check=yes ./a.out
In the output of valgrind, the magic phrase you’re looking for to indicate that no memory leaks were detected is:
All heap blocks were freed — no leaks are possible
For more information about valgrind’s output, see:
9. Style Restrictions (Super Important!)
These are the same as in the previous assignment. Please conform as closely as possible to the style I use while
coding in class. To encourage everyone to develop a commitment to writing consistent and readable code, the
following restrictions will be strictly enforced:
 Any time you open a curly brace, that curly brace should start on a new line.
 Any time you open a new code block, indent all the code within that code block one level deeper than
you were already indenting.
 Be consistent with the amount of indentation you’re using, and be consistent in using either spaces or
tabs for indentation throughout your source file. If you’re using spaces for indentation, please use at least
two spaces for each new level of indentation, because trying to read code that uses just a single space for
each level of indentation is downright painful.
 Please avoid block-style comments: /* comment */
 Instead, please use inline-style comments: // comment
 Always include a space after the “//” in your comments: “// comment” instead of “//comment”
 The header comments introducing your source file (including the comment(s) with your name, course
number, semester, NID, and so on), should always be placed above your #include statements.
 Use end-of-line comments sparingly. Comments longer than three words should always be placed above
the lines of code to which they refer. Furthermore, such comments should be indented to properly align
with the code to which they refer. For example, if line 16 of your code is indented with two tabs, and line
15 contains a comment referring to line 16, then line 15 should also be intended with two tabs.
 Please do not write excessively long lines of code. Lines must be no longer than 100 characters wide.
 Avoid excessive consecutive blank lines. In general, you should never have more than one or two
consecutive blank lines.
 When defining a function that doesn’t take any arguments, always put void in its parentheses. For
example, define a function using int do_something(void) instead of int do_something().
 When defining or calling a function, do not leave a space before its opening parenthesis. For example:
use int main(void) instead of int main (void). Similarly, use printf(“…”) instead of printf (“…”).
 Do leave a space before the opening parenthesis in an if statement or a loop. For example, use
use for (i = 0; i < n; i++) instead of for(i = 0; i < n; i++), and use if (condition) instead of if(condition)
or if( condition ).
 Please leave a space on both sides of any binary operators you use in your code (i.e., operators that take
two operands). For example, use (a + b) – c instead of (a+b)-c. (The only place you do not have to
follow this restriction is within the square brackets used to access an array index, as in: array[i+j].)
 Use meaningful variable names that convey the purpose of your variables. (The exceptions here are
when using variables like i, j, and k for looping variables or m and n for the sizes of some inputs.)
10. Special Restrictions (Super Important!)
1. As always, you must avoid the use of global variables, mid-function variable declarations, and system
calls (such as system(“pause”)).
2. Do not read from or write to any files. File I/O is forbidden in this assignment.
3. Be sure you don’t write anything in SneakyRooks.c that conflicts with what’s given in SneakyRooks.h.
Namely, do not try to define a Coordinate struct in SneakyRooks.c, since your source file will already be
importing the definition of a node struct from SneakyRooks.h.
4. No shenanigans. For example, if you write an allTheRooksAreSafe() function that always returns 1, you
might not receive any credit for the test cases that it happens to pass.
5. Your SneakyRooks.c file must not include a main() function. If it does, your code might fail to compile
during testing, and you will not receive credit for this assignment.
6. Be sure to include your name and NID as a comment at the top of your source file.
11. Deliverable (Submitted via Webcourses, not Eustis)
Submit a single source file, named SneakyRooks.c, via Webcourses. The source file must contain definitions for
all the required functions listed above. Be sure to include your name and NID as a comment at the top of your
source file. Don’t forget #include “SneakyRooks.h” in your source code (with correct capitalization). Your
source file must work on Eustis with the script, and it must also compile on Eustis with both of the
gcc -c SneakyRooks.c
gcc SneakyRooks.c testcase01.c
Continued on the following page…
12. Grading
Important Note: When grading your programs, we will use different test cases from the ones we’ve released
with this assignment, to ensure that no one can game the system and earn credit by simply hard-coding the
expected output for the test cases we’ve released to you. You should create additional test cases of your own
in order to thoroughly test your code. In creating your own test cases, you should always ask yourself, “What
kinds of inputs could be passed to this program that don’t violate any of the input specifications, but which
haven’t already been covered in the test cases included with the assignment?”
The tentative scoring breakdown (not set in stone) for this programming assignment is:
100% Passes test cases with correct output in linear time, with no memory leaks. (See notes below.)
Important Note! We are at a point in the semester where we should be able to take for granted that everyone will
submit clean, beautiful code that is appropriately commented and abides by all style restrictions listed above.
Accordingly, while you won’t be awarded points for those things, significant point deductions may be imposed
for poor commenting and whitespace practices or failure to adhere to style restrictions. You should also still
include your name and NID in your source code.
Note! Your program must be submitted via Webcourses, and it must compile and run on Eustis to receive credit.
Programs that do not compile will receive an automatic zero.
Your grade will be based primarily on your program’s ability to compile and produce the exact results expected.
Even minor deviations will cause your program’s output to be marked as incorrect, resulting in severe point
deductions. The same is true of how you name your functions and their parameters. Please be sure to follow all
requirements carefully and test your program thoroughly. Your best bet is to submit your program in advance of
the deadline, then download the source code from Webcourses, re-compile, and re-test your code in order to
ensure that you uploaded the correct version of your source code.
Note also that your functions should not print anything to the screen. If they do, it will interfere with the output
we generate while testing, resulting in incorrect test case results and an unfortunate loss of points.
Start early. Work hard. Ask questions. Good luck!

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