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(Aktu Btech) Design and Analysis of Algorithm Important Unit-4 Dynamic Programming and Backtracking

Quantum Notes will reveal the secrets of algorithm design and analysis. Prepare for Aktu Btech examinations by reviewing frequently asked questions. Today, excel in your academic route! Unit-4 Dynamic Programming and Backtracking

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Important Questions For Design and Analysis of Algorithm:
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Q1. What is dynamic programming ? How is this approach different from recursion? Explain with example.


  • 1. Dynamic programming is a stage-wise search method suitable for optimization problems whose solutions may be viewed as the result of a sequence of decisions.
  • 2. It is used when the sub-problems are not independent. 
  • 3. Dynamic programming takes advantage of the duplication and arranges to solve each sub-problem only once, saving the solution (in table or something) for later use. 
  • 4. Dynamic programming can be thought of as being the reverse of recursion. Recursion is a top-down mechanism i.e., we take a problem, split it up, and solve the smaller problems that are created. Dynamic programming is a bottom-up mechanism i.e., we solve all possible small problems and then combine them to odtain solutions for bigger problems.


  • 1. In recursion, sub-problems are solved multiple times but in dynamic programming sub-problems are solved only one time.
  • 2. Recursion is slower than dynamie programming. 

For example: 

Consider the example of calculating nth Fibonacci number. 

What is dynamic programming ? How is this approach different from recursion? Design and Analysis of Algorithm

In the first three steps, it can be clearly seen that fibo (n -3) is calculated twice. If we use recursion, we calculate the same sub-problems again and again but with dynamic programming we calculate the sub-problems only once.

Q2. Discuss the elements of dynamic programming.  

Ans. Following are the elements of dynamic programming: 

  • 1. Optimal sub-structure: Optimal sub-structure holds ifoptimal solution contains optimal solutions to sub-problems. It is often easy to show the optimal sub-problem property as follows:
    • i. Split problem into sub-problems. 
    • ii. Sub-problems must be optimal; otherwise the optimal splitting would not have been optimal.
    • iii. There is usually a suitable “space” of sub-problems. Some spaces are more “natural” than others. For matrix chain multiply we choose subproblems as sub-chains. 
  • 2. Overlapping sub-problem:
    • i. Overlapping sub-problem is found in those problems where bigger problems share the same smaller problems. This means, while solving larger problems through their sub-problems we find the same sub-problems more than once. In these cases a sub-problem is usually found to be solved previously. 
    • ii. Overlapping sub-problems can be found in Matrix Chain Multiplication (MCM) problem. 
Discuss the elements of dynamic programming. Design and Analysis of Algorithm
  • 3. Memoization: 
    • i. The memoization technique is the method of storing values of solutions to previously solved problems. 
    • ii. This generally means storing the values in a data structure that helps us reach them efficiently when the same problems occur during the program’s execution. 
    • iii. The data structure can be anything that helps us do that but generally a table is used. 

Q3. What is backtracking? Write general iterative algorithm for backtracking. 


  • 1. Backtracking is a general algorithm for finding all solutions to some computational problems. 
  • 2. Backtracking is an important tool for solving constraint satisfaction problems, such as cro5swords, verbal arithmetic, and many other puzzles. 
  • 3. It is often the most convenient (if not the most efficient) technique for parsing, for the knapsack problem and other combinational optimization problem.
  • 4. It can be applied only for problems which admit the concept of a “partial candidate solution” and a relatively quick test ofwhether it can possibly be completed to a valid solution.    

Iterative backtracking algorithm:

What is backtracking? Write general iterative algorithm for backtracking. Aktu Btech
What is backtracking? Write general iterative algorithm for backtracking. Design and Analysis of Algorithm

Q4. Write short notes on graph colouring. 


  • 1. Graph colouring is a simple way of labelling graph components such as vertices, edges, and regions under some constraints. 
  • 2. In a graph, no two adjacent vertices, adjacent edges, or adjacent regions are coloured with minimum number of colours. This number is called the chromatic number and the graph is called a properly coloured graph. 
  • 3. While graph colouring, the constraints that are set on the graph are colours, order of colouring, the way of assigning colour, etc.
  • 4. A colouring is given to a vertex or a particular region. Thus, the vertices or regions having same colours form independent sets.

For example:  

Write short notes on graph colouring. Design and Analysis of Algorithm

Q5. Write pseudocode for 8-Queens problem.  


  • 1. In N-Queens problem, the idea is to place queens one by one in different columns, starting from the leftmost column. 
  • 2. When we place a queen in a column, we check for clashes with already placed queens.
  • 3. In the current column, if we find a row for which there is no clash, we mark this row and column as part of the solution.  
  • 4. If we do not find such a row due to clashes then we backtrack and return false.

Procedure for solving N-Queens problem: 

  • 1. Start from the leftmost column.
  • 2. If all queens are placed return true.
  • 3. Try all rows in the current column. Do following for every tried row:
    • a. If the queen can be placed safely in this row then mark this Irow, columnl as part of the solution and recursively check if placing queen here leads to a solution.  
    • b. If placing queen in [row, column] leads to a solution then return true. 
    • c. If placing queen does not lead to a solution then unmark this [row, column] (backtrack) and go to step (a) to try other rows.  
  • 4. If all rows have been tried and nothing worked, return false to trigger backtracking. 

Algorithm/pseudocode for N-Queens problem: 

N-Queens are to be placed on an n xn chessboard so that no two attack i.e., no two Queens are on the same row, column or diagonal.  

PLACE (k, i)

Write pseudocode for 8-Queens problem. Design and Analysis of Algorithm

Place (k, i) returns true if a queen can be placed in the kth row and ith column otherwise return false.  

x [ ] is a global array whose first k-1 values have been set. Abs(r) returns the absolute value of r. 

N-Queens (k, n)  

Write pseudocode for 8-Queens problem. Aktu Btech

[Note: For 8-Queen problem put n = 8 in the algorithm.]

Q6. What is branch and bound technique ? Find a solution to the 4-Queens problem using branch and bound strategy. Draw the solution space using necessary bounding funetion. 

Ans. Branch and bound technique: 

  • 1. It is a systematic method for solving optimization problems. 
  • 2. It is used where backtracking and greedy method fails. 
  • 3. It is sometimes also known as best first search.
  • 4. In this approach we calculate bound at each stage and check whether it is able to give answer or not. 
  • 5. Branch and bound procedure requires two tools :
    • a. The first one is a way of covering the feasible region by several smaller feasible sub-regions. This is known as branching. 
    • b. Another tool is bounding, which is a fast way of finding upper and lower bounds for the optimal solution within a feasible sub-region.  

Solution to 4-Queens problem:

Basically, we have to ensure 4 things:

  • 1. No two queens share a column.
  • 2. No two queens share a row.
  • 3. No two queens share a top-right to left-bottom diagonal. 
  • 4. No two queens share a top-left to bottom-right diagonal.  

Number 1 is automatic because of the way we store the solution. For number 2, 3 and 4, we can perform updates in O(1) time and the whole updation process is shown in Fig.

What is branch and bound technique ? Find a solution to the 4-Queens problem using branch and bound strategy. Design and Analysis of Algorithm
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