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Dynamic visual display of a letter oriented minimal perfect hash function Public Deposited

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  • University Honors Program Senior Project. Many times the study of the behavior of an algorithm can be inhibited by the inability to actually see exactly what the algorithm does. Static diagrams and verbal descriptions are often not enough to provide real insight into the behavior of an algorithm. It would be useful to be able to watch the manipulation of the data as it occurs, in a dynamic visual display. This display would help point out inefficiencies in the algorithm, and possibly suggest new heuristics. The visual display of a hash function is presented as an example of this concept. The function to be displayed is a letter oriented minimal perfect hash function developed by Cook and Oldehoeft, originally implemented in Pascal. For this project, the Pascal version was translated into Concurrent Euclid and implemented on a Tektronix Magnolia workstation. The visual display of the function utilizes features for absolute cursor positioning, rendition control, and window manipulation available on the Magnolia. The purpose of this project was not to create a general program for the dynamic visual display of algorithms; rather, it was to provide an example of the usefulness of such a display in the study of algorithm behavior. The hash function presented is but one possible application of the concept of dynamic visual display.
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