15-853: Algorithms in the "Real World"
Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science Department
Fall 2006

Fluid Flow Image

Instructors: Guy Blelloch and Anupam Gupta
Time: Monday and Wednesday 10:30 - 11:50
Place: 4623 Wean Hall
Credit: 12 Units
Prerequisites: An advanced undergrad course in algorithms (15-451 or equivalent will suffice).
Office Hours: Monday 1:30-2:30pm (Guy), Wednesday 1:00-2:00pm (Anupam)

  • Course overview and topic list.
  • Readings, Notes and Slides
  • Course Requirements and Grading Criteria.
  • Approximate schedule.
  • Assignments.
  • Information on algorithms available on the web
  • Companies that sell products that use various algorithms

  • Course Overview:

    This course covers how algorithms and theory are used in "real-world" applications. The course will cover both the theory behind the algorithms and case studies of how the theory is applied. It is organized by topics and the topics change from year to year.

    This year we will cover the following topics. The exact subtopics might change

  • String Searching/Matching
    Suffix Arrays and Suffix Trees

  • Computational Biology
    Approximate String Matching
    Various gap and cost models
    Sequencing the Human Genome

  • Linear and Integer programming
    Flow problems as Linear programs
    Simplex, Elipsoid and Interior point methods
    Reductions to integer programs
    Basic techniques for solving integer programs

  • Separators

  • Dimensionality Reduction

  • Error Correcting Codes
    Hamming Codes, Linear Codes
    Reed Solomon Codes, Cyclic Codes
    Expander graphs, and LDPC Codes.

  • Compression
    Information Theory
    Huffman/Arithmetic/Gamma Codes
    Context Coding/PPM
    Lempel Ziv/Gzip/Burrows Wheeler
    Graph Compression

  • Requirements and Grading Criteria

  • Readings (handed out per topic)
  • Homework Assignments (1 or 2 per topic) (50%)
  • Take-home Midterm (10%)
  • Take-home final exam (20%)
  • Grading Assignments (1 over the semester) (10%)
  • Class participation (10%)

  • Assignments

  • Assign 1: Sorting Suffixes, Due September 18
  • Assign 2: Computational Biology -- String Matching, Due October 2
  • Assign 3: Convex Programming, Due October 16
  • Assign 4: Separators, Due November 1
  • Assign 5: Chernoff Bounds and Polynomials, Due November 15
  • Assign 6: Error Correcting Codes and some Compression, Due November 29
  • Assign 7: Compression and some Streaming, Due December 8

  • Relevant Books

    See the lists within each of the topic pages

    Guy Blelloch, guyb@cs.cmu.edu.