CSCI-1200 Data Structures
Homework 9 — IMDB Search
The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) keeps track of data related to films. We have processed some of the
data from https://www.imdb.com/interfaces/ since the full dataset has some interesting problems and is
far too large for us to work with.
Your program will take input from std::cin which constitutes a list of commands. Some of these commands
will describe how your hash table for the assignment will work, and other commands will request output to
The goal is to write our own simple search engine for movie data. In a search, we may have exact information,
or we may only have partial information (more on this later). In order to make our search time-efficient we
will use extra memory in our hash table to store more “keys”.
When your program receives the movies command, it will be given a filename to read from. Each entry in
the file will look like:
Year of Release
Runtime in Minutes
There will be no spaces in any of the data, for example instead of “John Wayne” we would have “John Wayne”.
None of the fields will be blank, and GenreCount, ActorCount, RoleCount will all be ≥ 1. GenreList will
have GenreCount entries, ActorList will have ActorCount entries, and RoleList will have RoleCount
entries. Refer to the sample for more concrete examples.
One strange thing about the data is that instead of the actors having names, they all have strings starting
with “n” which we will refer to as “nconsts”. This is because there might be two actors with the same name,
so we instead use a unique identifier. However, there is another command actors which also gives a filename.
The structure of the actors file is much simpler with each line consisting of:
The third major operation is query. After the word query your program can expect input that looks like
an entry from the movie file. However, it is also possible to have unknown values. If the title, runtime, or
year are “?” it means that they are a wildcard and will match any movie. If the GenreCount, ActorCount
or RoleCount are 0, it means they are a wildcard and will match any movie. When your program receives
a query, it should search the hash table (more on that in a moment) and return all results that match. In
order for two GenreLists, ActorLists, or RoleLists to match, they must have the same number of values,
every value must match, and the values must be in the same order.
Choice of Hash Function and Table Implementation
The choice of the hash function is up to you. A good hash function should be fast, O(1) computation, and
provide a random, uniform distribution of keys throughout the table. You may use one of the hash functions
mentioned in lecture, one found on the internet, or one of your own devising. If you choose to download a
hash function from the internet, you must provide the URL in your README and include the source code
with your submission. If the downloaded file requires a copyright notice, you MUST include that notice. Be
sure to observe any copyright restrictions on the use of the code. In your README file, describe your hash
function and table implementation.
One of your challenges will be figuring out how to hash movie data – each entry in your hash table will have a
value that is either movie data or a pointer to movie data. Keep in mind “data” is a plural, so this may refer
to more than one movie. We will not be picky about which approach you take for the value, but pointers
will be much more memory efficient since you will replicate a lot of data and may be required for larger test
cases. The key in your hash table should be a unique identifier of the movie data. Where this gets interesting
is that in addition to hashing the movie object, you will need to hash every partial version of a movie object.
Recall from the description above of the query command that you may be given only some information with
others left as unknowns. It would be very slow to check every single movie object, so instead you will need
to store these partial hashes as keys with the full movie data as values.
For example, the second query in top250 example input.txt looks for any movie from 1994, so all movies
in the dataset that have a year of 1994 should be values associated with the hash of the partial movie data
where everything is empty except the year, which is set to 1994. Representing partial queries and figuring
out how to generate all of them is another challenge in this assignment. Partial queries may return several
results, your hash table implementation should enable efficient retreival of the multiple movies that match
the query’s criteria. Hint: There should be around 64 partial queries you can make per movie.
To store the hashes and the associated movies in the hash table, once the table index of the query key
has been found, you may use any of the data structures that we have covered so far in class. To handle
collisions, use one of the open addressing methods described in lecture (linear probing, quadratic probing,
or secondary hashing). Linear probing is the simplest of these three methods. You may not use std::hash,
std::unordered map, std::unordered set, std::map or similar STL functions/containers. Exception: You can
use a map to store actor data, but not movie data.
When implementing the hash table, set the initial size of the table. As you enter data in the table, calculate
the occupancy ratio:
number of unique key entries
When the occupancy >than some fixed level, double the size of the table and rehash the data. Describe your
re-sizing method in the hash table section of the README file.
Input/Output & Basic Functionality
The program should read a series of commands from std::cin (STDIN) and write responses to std::cout
(STDOUT). Sample input and output files have been provided. You can redirect the input and output
to your program using the instructions in the section Redirecting Input & Output found at http:
Your program should accept the following commands:
• movies filename – Read movie data from filename.
• actors filename – Read actor data from filename.
• table size N – this is an optional command. N is an integer. It is the initial hash table size. If it does
not appear in the command file, the initial table size should be set to 100.
• occupancy f – this is an optional command. f is a float. When the occupancy goes above this level, the
table should be resized. If it does not appear in the command file, the initial level should be set to 0.5.
• query query data – Search the movie data for any matches to query data.
• quit – Exit the program.
You may assume that if table size or occupancy appear, they will appear before movies. You can also
assume that movies and actors will appear before any query commands.
For output to queries, if matches are found, the program will print the number of matches and the corresponding
movie data. Otherwise, the program will print “No results for query.” Since the ordering will depend on
your hash function, you are not required to print the results of a query in any particular order. One subtle
detail is that when outputting movie data you should use the actual names of actors instead of their nconsts.
You are not explicitly required to create any new classes when completing this assignment, but please do so as
it will improve your program design. We expect you to use const and pass by reference/alias as appropriate
throughout your assignment.
Use good coding style and detailed comments when you design and implement your program. Please use
the provided template README.txt file for any notes you want the grader to read, including work for extra
credit. You must do this assignment on your own, as described in the “Collaboration Policy & Academic
Integrity”. If you did discuss the problem or error messages, etc. with anyone, please list their names in your
Homework 9 — IMDB Search
CSCI-1200 Data Structures