Fundamentals of Computer Science I (CS151.01 2006F)

Deep Recursion

This lab is also available in PDF.

Summary: In this laboratory, you will further explore issues of deep recursion introduced in the reading on pairs and pair structures and continued in the reading on deep recursion.

Contents:

Exercises

Exercise 0: Preparation

a. Make sure that you have the reading on pairs and pair structures and the reading on deep recursion open in separate tabs and windows.

b. Make sure that you have a piece of paper and writing instrument handy.

Exercise 1: Number Trees

Recall that a list is a data structure defined recursively as follows:

In the reading on pairs and pair structures, the section entitled Recursion with Pairs includes a procedure that works on number trees, nested structures built with the pair procedure.

Write a recursive definition for number trees, trees built from only numbers and cons cells, similar to that for lists.

Exercise 2: A Number Tree Predicate

Using your recursive definition of number trees from the previous probelm, write a procedure, (number-tree? val) that returns true if val is a number tree and false otherwise.

Exercise 3: Summing Number Trees

Consider again the sum-of-number-tree procedure from the reading, which you can find repeated at the end of this lab.

a. Verify that it works as advertised on the first example.

(sum-of-number-tree (cons (cons (cons 0 1)
                                     (cons 2 3))
                               (cons (cons 4 5)
                                     (cons 6 7))))

b. What do you expect sum-of-number-tree to return when given (cons 10 11) as a parameter? Verify your answer experimentally.

c. Verify that it works as advertised on a single number.

d. Verify that it works as advertised on a pair of numbers.

e. What do you expect sum-of-number-tree to return when given the empty list as a parameter? Verify your answer experimentally.

f. What do you expect sum-of-number-tree to return when given (list 1 2 3 4 5) as a parameter? Verify your answer experimentally.

Exercise 4: Preconditions

a. What preconditions should sum-of-number-tree have?

b. Use the number-tree? predicate from earlier to rewrite sum-of-number-tree so that it reports an appropriate error if its preconditions are not met.

c. Some programmers consider it inappropriate to scan a tree twice, once to make sure that it's valid and once to compute a value based on the tree. Rewrite sum-of-number-tree so that it checks for and reports errors only when it is at one of the non-pair values.

Exercise 5: Counting Cons Cells

a. Define and test a procedure named cons-cell-count that takes any Scheme value and determines how many boxes would appear in its box-and-pointer diagram. (The data structure that is represented by such a box, or the region of a computer's memory in which such a structure is stored is called a cons cell. Every time the cons procedure is used, explicitly or implicitly, in the construction of a Scheme value, a new cons cell is allocated, to store information about the car and the cdr. Thus cons-cell-count also tallies the number of times cons was invoked during the construction of its argument.)

For example, the structure in the following box-and-pointer diagram contains seven cons-cells, so when you apply cons-cell-count to that structure, it should return 7. On the other hand, the string "sample" contains no cons-cells, so the value of (cons-cell-count "sample") is 0.

a diagram including seven divided rectangles which represent cons cells

In answering this question, you should consider whether each value, in turn, is a pair using the pair? predicate.

b. Use cons-cell-count to find out how many cons cells are needed to construct the list

(0 (1 (2 (3 (4)))))

See the notes at the end of the lab if you have trouble creating that list.

c. Draw a box-and-pointer diagram of this list to check the answer.

For Those with Extra Time

If you find that you have extra time, you might want to attempt one or more of the following problems.

Extra 1: Cons Cells vs. Values

As you may recall, a tree is either (a) a non-pair value or (b) the cons of two trees. In the reading, you saw a procedure that counted the number of values in a tree. In this lab, you wrote a procedure that counted the number of cons cells (pairs) in a tree. What is the relationship between the numbers returned by those two procedures?

Extra 2: Searching for Symbols

Write a procedure, (tree-member? sym tree-of-symbols), that determines whether sym appears anywhere in tree-of-symbols.

Notes

Notes on Exercise 3

In case you don't want to switch documents, here is the code for sum-of-number-tree.

;;; Procedure:
;;;   sum-of-number-tree
;;; Parameters:
;;;   ntree, a number tree
;;; Purpose:
;;;   Sums all the numbers in ntree.
;;; Produces:
;;;   sum, a number
;;; Preconditions:
;;;   ntree is a number tree.  That is, it consists only of numbers
;;;   and cons cells.
;;; Postconditions:
;;;   sum is the sum of all numbers in ntree.
(define sum-of-number-tree
  (lambda (ntree)
    (if (pair? ntree)
        (+ (sum-of-number-tree (car ntree))
           (sum-of-number-tree (cdr ntree)))
        ntree)))

Notes on Exercise 5

If, for some reason, you are having trouble creating the list

(0 (1 (2 (3 (4)))))

try

(list 0 (list 1 (list 2 (list 3 (list 4)))))

 

History

 

Disclaimer: I usually create these pages on the fly, which means that I rarely proofread them and they may contain bad grammar and incorrect details. It also means that I tend to update them regularly (see the history for more details). Feel free to contact me with any suggestions for changes.

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Samuel A. Rebelsky, rebelsky@grinnell.edu

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