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- CS 18000 Homework 04: Repetition

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For this homework, you will be making a program that will approximate the square root of

a number from user input. Users should be able to decide how many decimal points they

want the square root approximated to. For the purposes of this lab, the number of decimal

points will be limited from 1 to 14 and all numbers will be non-negative.

First, let’s think about some properties of square roots. Think about the guess and check

method of solving a math problem. If our goal is to find the square root of real number “x”,

then for some real number “y”, y*y = x. Therefore, theoretically we should be able to

approximate the square root of x by trying various values of y and squaring them. While

y*y does not equal x to the desired precision, we can adjust and continue trying different

values of y. But how can we efficiently try values of y to calculate x?

As a starting point, let’s look at something called the binary search algorithm. You will

need to implement a modified version of this algorithm for the homework. We will provide

the binary search algorithm and it will be your task to figure out how to modify and

implement it to approximate the square root of a number.

The binary search algorithm provides an efficient way to search for certain value in an

ordered sequence. If there are n values in the sequence, the value at the n/2th

[middle]

position will be our first guess (round up to the n+1th position if n is odd). Think about the

first number in the sequence as defining the minimum of the search space, and the last

number as defining the maximum position of the search space. Since we know the

sequence is ordered, if the value at the middle position is less than the value we are

searching for, then we know we can now confine our search to only the values at positions

greater than our initial guess. Now, we can redefine the minimum position of the search

Problem Solving And Object-Oriented Programming

space as being the position defined by the index of the middle position plus 1, and the

maximum position stays the same. If the initial guess was instead greater than the value

we were searching for you would instead adjust the maximum position. Now, we can

redefine the middle value and continue repeating the process until we have found the value

we are searching for (we conclude the value does not exist in the sequence if the min

position is equal to the max position). See the next image for finding 4.

In a number line, while there are an infinite number of values in between any two numbers,

there are a finite number of values between any two numbers to a defined precision. This

is what allows us to use a modified binary search algorithm to approximate the square root

below (note that ~ means “approximately equal to”, or “close enough to” according to the

defined precision).

CS 18000

Problem Solving And Object-Oriented Programming

Explanation:

1. Start with a range of numbers from 0 to 26.

2. Calculate the middlemost number and square it. For the first iteration, we found 13,

which squares to 169.

3. Compare the squared number to 26.00. 169 is greater than 26.00, so we will look for

another number that is less than 13, but bigger than 0. If the square were larger, we would

look at numbers between 13 and 26.

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until we find a number that has a square of about 26.00 when

rounded. Note that the answer is not exactly the square root of 26: this is only an estimate

precise to two decimal places. Reducing the precision of the result from 5.098755 to 5.10

may also change the accuracy of your result. For the purpose of this assignment, this is

okay. Just don’t use this algorithm for your finances.

CS 18000

Problem Solving And Object-Oriented Programming

An example run of the program is below. You should model the functionality of your

program on the one shown using the algorithm discussed above.

**NOTE: You may NOT use any pre-existing square root functions for this task (e.g.

Math.sqrt or Math.pow). You will receive a ZERO and use a submission**

Submission:

Items required for submission via Blackboard:

● SqrtEstimator.java

Rubric:

· SqrtEstimator class — 100 points total

· Program continues running until user enters “quit” command – 20 points

(required for other criteria).

· Error checking for invalid (non-positive) input/prompting while not correct – 20

points

· Approximation displays correct precision – 10 points

· Approximation is mathematically correct – 50 points

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