Assignment #2: GenericBST


Programming Assignment #2: GenericBST
COP 3503
In this assignment, you will gain experience working with generics in Java. In
particular, you will extend my binary search tree (BST) code from a data
structure that just holds integers to a powerful container that can hold any kind
of Comparable object under the sun.
A tangential benefit of this program is that you get to spend some time looking
through some fairly straight-forward and well-structured BST code. It is always
good to revisit how common data structures can be implemented as you ramp
up your skills in different programming languages.



5/5 - (2 votes)

Programming Assignment #2: GenericBST
COP 3503
In this assignment, you will gain experience working with generics in Java. In
particular, you will extend my binary search tree (BST) code from a data
structure that just holds integers to a powerful container that can hold any kind
of Comparable object under the sun.
A tangential benefit of this program is that you get to spend some time looking
through some fairly straight-forward and well-structured BST code. It is always
good to revisit how common data structures can be implemented as you ramp
up your skills in different programming languages. You will also gain
experience modifying someone else’s code (something you will be doing a lot if
you become a software developer) and adding comments to code.
Note! The capitalization and spelling of your filename matter!
Note! Code must be tested on Eustis, but submitted via Webcourses.
1. Problem Statement
Included with this assignment is a source file named You must modify that file as follows:
1. Change the class name to GenericBST and the file name to
2. Modify the source code so that the class is generic (i.e., so that the binary search trees will be able to
hold any type of data) with the restriction that only classes that implement Comparable may be stored in
the BSTs. As with (posted in Webcourses), you do not need to write a compareTo() method.
3. The comments in are practically non-existent. After you have read and absorbed the program’s
structure and functionality, add comments for the entire program. (See the commenting guidelines
4. Write a public static double difficultyRating() method that returns a double on the range of 1.0
(ridiculously easy) through 5.0 (insanely difficult) indicating how difficult you found this assignment.
5. Write a public static double hoursSpent() method that returns a realistic and reasonable estimate (greater
than zero) of the number of hours you spent working on this assignment.
To make this class generic, you will have to change the return types of some of the methods I have implemented.
However, please do not change static methods to non-static methods, or private methods to public methods, and
2. Special Requirement: No Compile-Time Warnings (Super Important!)
Here are some special restrictions regarding compile-time warnings:
 Your code must not produce any warnings when compiled on Eustis. For this particular assignment, it’s
especially important not to have any -Xlint:unchecked warnings. Please note that some systems don’t
produce -Xlint:unchecked warnings! The safest way to check whether your code is producing such
warnings is to compile and run your program on Eustis with the script.
 You cannot use the @SuppressWarnings annotation (or any similar annotations) to suppress warnings in
this assignment.
Please do not give your code to classmates and ask them to check whether their compilers generate compile-time
warnings for your code. Remember, sharing code in this course is out of bounds for assignments.
3. General Commenting Guidelines
Here are some guidelines to follow when adding comments to or when commenting your own
code this semester:
 Keep comments brief! Don’t comment every line of code. Also, try to avoid comments that exceed two
or three lines. Note that the comments in my code in Webcourses are designed for educational reading.
They’re far more lengthy and verbose than anything you should be including in your own code.
 In general, above each method signature, give a brief, high-level overview of what that method does.
Say something about its input parameters, expected output, and return value (if applicable).
 Within your methods, give high-level comments that tell what different chunks of code do (rather than
commenting every single line of code). However:
 Avoid simply repeating things that are “obvious” in your code, thereby making someone read your
code twice (once in English and once in Java). That is, avoid transliterating your code from Java to
English. (Again: You shouldn’t be commenting every single line of code.)
 Prefer comments that tell how or why something works, rather than simply saying what something
does, unless you’re explaining the behavior of a chunk of code in a way that makes your code easier
for a reader to digest.
 When writing comments, a good rule of thumb is this: Suppose you load up your code for an assignment
five years from now, and you’ve lost the PDF for that assignment. What comments would help you
quickly understand what you were doing and how each of the methods plays into your program’s overall
 Try to use method names that are verb phrases, which therefore act as documentation of what your code
is doing. (Avoid obscure method and variable names that would require us to add clarifying comments
everywhere they appear.)
 Don’t copy and paste method descriptions from the assignment PDFs, as they sometimes contain nonstandard characters that will prevent your code from compiling. (Also, the method descriptions in the
PDFs are often way too verbose. You should write shorter overviews for each of your methods.)
4. Style Restrictions (Same as in Program #1) (Super Important!)
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:
 Capitalize the first letter of all class names. Use lowercase for the first letter of all method names.
 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 import 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.
 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].)
 When defining or calling a method, do not leave a space before its opening parenthesis. For example:
use System.out.println(“Hi!”) instead of System.out.println (“Hi!”).
 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 ).
 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.)
 Do not use var to declare variables.
5. Compiling and Testing GenericBST on Eustis (and the Script!)
Recall that your code must compile, run, and produce precisely the correct output on Eustis in order to receive
full credit. Here’s how to make that happen:
1. To compile your program with one of my test cases:
2. To run this test case and redirect your output to a text file:
java TestCase01 myoutput01.txt
3. To compare your program’s output against the sample output file I’ve provided for this test case:
diff myoutput01.txt sample_output/TestCase01-output.txt
If the contents of myoutput01.txt and TestCase01-output.txt are exactly the same, diff won’t print anything to
the screen. It will just look like this:
[email protected]:~$ diff myoutput01.txt sample_output/TestCase01-output.txt
[email protected]:~$ _
Otherwise, if the files differ, diff will spit out some information about the lines that aren’t the same.
4. I’ve also included a script,, that will compile and run all test cases for you. You can run it on Eustis
by placing it in a directory with and all the test case files and typing:
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.
6. Grading Criteria and Miscellaneous Requirements
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:
70% Passes test cases with 100% correct output formatting. In testing, I’ll throw some
home-brewed Comparable objects into GenericBST containers and see whether the
trees are properly constructed and the traversal outputs are correct. This portion of the
grade includes tests of the difficultyRating() and hoursSpent() methods.
10% Program compiles without warnings. To be eligible for these points, generics with
Comparable must be implemented properly, and the code must not use any warning
suppression annotations.
20% Adequate comments and whitespace. To earn these points, you must adhere to the style
restrictions set forth above. We will likely impose huge penalties for small deviations,
because we really want you to develop good style habits in this class. Please include a
header comment with your name and NID, and please be sure to name your file
Your program must be submitted via Webcourses.
Please be sure to submit your .java file, not a .class file (and certainly not a .doc or .pdf file). 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.
Important! Programs that do not compile on Eustis will receive zero credit. When testing your code, you
should ensure that you place alone in a directory with the test case files (source files, the
sample_output directory, and the script), and no other files. That will help ensure that your is not relying on external support classes that you’ve written in separate .java files but won’t be
including with your program submission.
Important! You might want to remove main() and then double check that your program compiles without
it before submitting. Including a main() method can cause compilation issues if it includes references to homebrewed classes that you are not submitting with the assignment. Please remove.
Important! You should not print anything to the screen. Extraneous output will result in severe point
deductions. The only output for this program should come from the pre-written tree traversal methods. Please do
not make any changes to the print statements in the tree traversal methods.
Important! No file I/O. Please do not read or write to any files.
Important! Please do not create a java package. Articulating a package in your source code could prevent it
from compiling with our test cases, resulting in severe point deductions.
Important! Name your source file, class(es), and method(s) correctly. Minor errors in spelling and/or
capitalization could be hugely disruptive to the grading process and may result in severe point deductions.
Similarly, failing to implement a required method, or failing to make certain methods public, private, static,
and/or non-static (as required), may cause test case failure. Please double check your work!
Test your code thoroughly. Please be sure to create your own test cases and thoroughly test your code. You’re
welcome to share test cases with each other, as long as your test cases don’t include any solution code for the
assignment itself.
Start early! Work hard! Ask questions! Good luck!