Project 1 Survey of an Algorithm



Project 1 Survey of an Algorithm


This assignment consists of writing a research paper surveying a popular algorithm. Your paper must conform to the American Psychological Association (APA) writing style. There are many good online resources for the APA style. Your paper must use reputable scholarly references. Your paper should

Use 11pt or 12pt font size for the main text. Other text such as figure and table labels and captions, if applicable, should be no smaller then 10pt. This assignment weighs 15% of your course grade.

A typical research paper for this assignment is about 7-10 double spaced pages (not including the cover page or reference page) Avoid telling stories. Your paper should have a formal tone like the reputable research articles that you read; cite your sources within the main text of the paper (even for paraphrased content and ideas); and avoid using contractions and words such as “I” and “you” in formal writing; etc.

Topics Choose one of the following algorithms areas to write about. Potential algorithm topics related to the algorithm area are included in parenthesis as examples.

1. Hashing Algorithms (e.g.SHA-3; Message Digest-5; Cryptography algorithms such as Advanced Encryption Standard, Blowfish, Elliptic curve cryptography; Digital signature algorithms; Bitcoin Mining)

2. Compression Algorithms (e.g. LZO, Data differencing, Huffman Coding)

3. String Matching (e.g. Google’s PageRank algorithm, DNA sequence algorithms, Spell checking algorithms)

4. Memory Management (e.g. Garbage Collection, Buddy Methods, Paging algorithms, Sequential-Fit Methods)

Content I highly recommend that you use section headings in your paper. The paper must use uniform margins of 1 in. (2.54 cm) on the top, bottom, left, and right of every page. At a minimum, your paper should include the following sections:

Title Page: The title page should include the title of the paper and your name and course number. The upper right corner in the heading of each page should include the title of the paper on the left corner and the page number on the right corner. If you would like to include an abstract, it must be on a separate page after the title page. All text in the paper except for figure and table captions must be double spaced.

1. Introduction:

The introduction should provide brief background information on the algorithm. It should also briefly discuss the problem that the algorithm tries to solve and provide a very brief overview on rest of the paper.

2. Origin:

The origin section should identify the person or organization that initially designed or developed the algorithm.

Support your finding on the origin using reference citations from books, journal articles, or conference proceedings


3. Detailed Description:

This section should describe the algorithm and provide one or two simple but specific examples that illustrate how the algorithm works. You may include additional sections (or subsections) as necessary. As an example, this section can include the follow type of information:

            a. Identify the algorithms original intension

            b. Identify the algorithms primary purpose

            c. Identify the complexity of the algorithm (i.e. its big-O)

            d. Provide a brief and simple example showing how the algorithm works. For example, a paper on data             compression could discuss the details of the MD5 on LZO implementation. Walk through a couple of simple             examples using a small data set to help illustrate exactly how the algorithm works. Diagrams and figures             also help to get the point across.

            e. If appropriate, provide a brief description mentioning how the algorithm is different from other algorithms             that solve the same or similar problem

            f. Do not include long source code listings. If you must include source code, only provide small sample             snippets or pseudo-code that will help your discussion. Be sure to properly cite your sources.

            g. You must support your discussion using reference citations from books and/or journal articles within the             main text of the paper.

4. Primary Uses: This section can provide the following type of information:

            a. What were the algorithms first successes?

            b. Identify any failures or short comings of the algorithm

            c. Give an example of who or what software products are currently using the algorithm

            d. Support your findings using reference citations from books and/or journal articles

5. Future Considerations: The paper must discuss future considerations for the algorithm. Explain what the literature says about it potential new uses or new areas where the algorithm is being used.

For example:

            a. Are other new algorithms being made based on this one?

            b. Or is the algorithm dead – i.e. not being used anymore for some reason?

            c. Support your findings using reference citations from books and/or journal articles.

6. Summary and Conclusion: For example: a. Briefly summarize what you have discussed.


The references section must on a separate page. All sources listed in your reference list must be cited within the main text of the paper using the proper APA citation format. The reference list should be single spaced. The second and subsequence lines of the reference must be intended to follow the APA formatting style of writing. Remember that the title of the section for APA must be “References” and not “Work Cited” as used in MLA.

a. The references section must include a minimum of four (4) scholarly/reputable sources not including your textbook. If you use the textbook as a source, you must include four other sources.

b. References Must consist of books, journal articles, conference proceedings, which are the best type of sources


For every three (3) references that you list, no more than one (1) reference can be from a Reputable scholarly Web source. A Web source without an author’s name or a date usually indicates that the work is most likely not from a reputable source, and should not be used for this assignment. Do not cite or quote from blogs, Wiki sites,,, or other non-reputable /non-Scholarly sources. You will not receive credit for those types of sources.

Use these sections as a guide for the content and structure for your paper; however feel free to include additional sections that you feel are also be relevant to your topic.

Grading Heuristics

The overall weight of the paper will be 20 points broken down as follows:

Grammar and selling format of the paper, APA style, and citations with in the paper depth of coverage and originality preferences (at least 4 reputable sources)Other Notes Note that all research papers will be automatically run through

No more than 20% of the content in your paper can be exact words or quoted text from various sources. Also, note that exact words from your sources must be cited. All sources where you received your information must be properly cited within the main text: even paraphrased material must be properly cited next to the appropriate sentences or paragraphs.

String Matching

(e.g Google’s PageRank algorithm, DNA sequence algorithms, Spell checking algorithms)

1. Introduction

2. Origin of String Matching

3. Description of String Matching

4. Primary Uses

5. Future Considerations

6. Conclusion

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