CS173: Intro to Computer Science - Anagram Solver (100 Points)

Assignment Goals

The goals of this assignment are:
  1. To manipulate String variables

Background Reading and References

Please refer to the following readings and examples offering templates to help get you started:

The Assignment

In this lab, you will manipulate Strings by computing all the anagrams of a given word in a dictionary.

Part 1: Anagram Finder

Two words are anagrams if they contain the same letters. For example, bat and tab are anagrams, because they each contain one letter a, one letter b, and one letter t.

Write a function that takes as parameters a two String variables to check if they are anagrams of each other. Return true if they are anagrams, and false otherwise.

You can choose your approach for determining if two words are anagrams. For example, you can loop over each character in each word, count the number of each character, and ensure they are equal across both Strings. If you are looking for a challenge, you can also sort the letters in each word, and the resulting Strings should be equal (for example, both bat and tab sort to the same String abt).

Part 2: Puzzle Solver

Next, write a new function that operates similarly to the anagram finder, but allows you to also specify a character and a position. This function should accept a String representing your available characters, a character, and a position.

We provide a dictionary file that you can download into your project and read into a series of String variables, one line at a time. Read the dictionary file, one line at a time, and pass each line along with the String to a second function that returns true if the two words are anagrams, and false otherwise. Print each word that is a matching anagram.

Find all words in the dictionary that are anagrams of your String, but with a specific character at a given position within the String. Only print those anagram matches. As a hint: you can use the anagram function you wrote in part 1 to help with this!

Adding a File to your Project

When you save the dictionary file to your computer, you can go to NetBeans and choose the File -> Open File menu. Choose the dictionary file. If you then go to the File -> Save As menu, you can navigate to and double click on your project directory (this directory might be in your user home directory under a directory called NetBeansProjects). After double clicking on your project directory, save your file under your project directory. You can then open your file using the code below, and read the file as you normally would.

File f = new File("words_alpha.txt");

Exporting your Project for Submission

When you’re done, write a README for your project, and save all your files, before exporting your project to ZIP. In your README, answer any bolded questions presented on this page. Here is a video tutorial describing how to write a README for your project, and how to export it.

Design Questions to Help You Begin

Please answer the following questions in your README file before you begin writing your program.
  1. What functions do you need to write to solve this problem? Before you begin, sketch them out first on paper or in a text file, and describe which functions you would call from main and in what order.


In your submission, please include answers to any questions asked on the assignment page in your README file. If you wrote code as part of this assignment, please describe your design, approach, and implementation in your README file as well. Finally, include answers to the following questions:
  • Describe what you did, how you did it, what challenges you encountered, and how you solved them.
  • Please answer any questions found throughout the narrative of this assignment.
  • If collaboration with a buddy was permitted, did you work with a buddy on this assignment? If so, who? If not, do you certify that this submission represents your own original work?
  • Please identify any and all portions of your submission that were not originally written by you (for example, code originally written by your buddy, or anything taken or adapted from a non-classroom resource). It is always OK to use your textbook and instructor notes; however, you are certifying that any portions not designated as coming from an outside person or source are your own original work.
  • Approximately how many hours it took you to finish this assignment (I will not judge you for this at all...I am simply using it to gauge if the assignments are too easy or hard)?
  • Your overall impression of the assignment. Did you love it, hate it, or were you neutral? One word answers are fine, but if you have any suggestions for the future let me know.
  • Any other concerns that you have. For instance, if you have a bug that you were unable to solve but you made progress, write that here. The more you articulate the problem the more partial credit you will receive (it is fine to leave this blank).

Assignment Rubric

Description Pre-Emerging (< 50%) Beginning (50%) Progressing (85%) Proficient (100%)
Algorithm Implementation (40%) The algorithm fails on the test inputs due to major issues, or the program fails to compile and/or run The algorithm fails on the test inputs due to one or more minor issues The algorithm is implemented to solve the problem correctly according to given test inputs, but would fail if executed in a general case due to a minor issue or omission in the algorithm design or implementation A reasonable algorithm is implemented to solve the problem which correctly solves the problem according to the given test inputs, and would be reasonably expected to solve the problem in the general case
Test Cases (20%) Testing was performed outside of the unit test framework, or not performed at all Trivial test cases are provided in a unit test framework Test cases that cover some, but not all, boundary cases and branches of the program are provided Test cases that cover all boundary cases and branches of the program are provided
Code Quality and Documentation (30%) Code commenting and structure are absent, or code structure departs significantly from best practice, and/or the code departs significantly from the style guide Code commenting and structure is limited in ways that reduce the readability of the program, and/or there are minor departures from the style guide Code documentation is present that re-states the explicit code definitions, and/or code is written that mostly adheres to the style guide Code is documented at non-trivial points in a manner that enhances the readability of the program, and code is written according to the style guide, and each function contains relevant and appropriate Javadoc documentation
Writeup and Submission (10%) An incomplete submission is provided The program is submitted, but not according to the directions in one or more ways (for example, because it is lacking a readme writeup or missing answers to written questions) The program is submitted according to the directions with a minor omission or correction needed, including a readme writeup describing the solution and answering nearly all questions posed in the instructions The program is submitted according to the directions, including a readme writeup describing the solution and answering all questions posed in the instructions

Please refer to the Style Guide for code quality examples and guidelines.