UNIT 34: DATA STRUCTURES AND ALGORITHMS
Unit 34: Data Structures and Algorithms




Unit
code: H/601/1456
QCF
Level 5: BTEC Higher National
Credit value:15
• Aim
This unit provides learners with an understanding of how data structures are used in algorithms and enables them to design and implement data structures.
• Unit
abstract
The unit starts by introducing abstract data types and explores their use in data structures. Based
on this knowledge and understanding, learners should be able to develop solutions, using data structures for a range of commercial needs. Data structures may be implemented using a variety of programming paradigms and learners may use one or more areas for their implementations.
Finally, learners will research commercial applications that incorporate data structures and
evaluate their use.
On completion of this unit the learner should be able to design and implement a variety of data structures and be able to evaluate different algorithms that implement data structures.
• Learning
outcomes
On
successful completion of this unit a learner will:
1 Understand data structures and algorithms
2 Be
able to implement data structures and algorithms
3 Understand how strings are structured and processed.
Unit
content
1 Understand
data
structures and
algorithms
Data
structures:
array; set; stack; queue; list; tree; types eg active, passive, recursive.
Operations:
types eg create, empty, push, pop, insert, delete, search, sort.
Design specification: using nonexecutable programme specification language eg pseudo
code; issues eg complexity in software development; interfaces; information hiding.
Creation: preconditions, postconditions, errorconditions.
Algorithms: sort eg insertion, quick, shell, merge, heapsort, selection sort; search eg linear,
binary, binary search tree; recursive eg binary tree traversals (preorder, inorder, postorder).
2 Be
able
to implement data
structures and
algorithms
Implementation: sorting, searching and recursive algorithms; using eg arrays (single and/or multi dimensional), handle, pointer, class, methods; using an executable programming
language.
3 Understand
how
strings are
structured and
processed
String:
structure eg sequence of characters, data type, character encoding.
Operations:
types eg concatenation, find character, length, lowercase, substring, trim.
Algorithms:
processing eg string searching, string sorting, string manipulation.
Learning
outcomes and assessment criteria
Learning
outcomes
On successful completion of this unit a learner will:


Assessment
criteria
for
pass
The
learner
can:






LO1
Understand data structures and
algorithms


1.1 produce design specification for data structures explaining the valid operations that can be carried out on the structures
1.2 explain the operation and performance of sorting and
search algorithms
1.3 explain the operation of recursive algorithms and
identify situations when recursion is used





LO2
Be able to implement data structures and algorithms


2.1 implement data structures in an executable
programming language in the context of welldefined problems
2.2 implement opportunities for error handling and reporting
2.3
test results to enable comparison with expected results





LO3
Understand how strings are
structured and processed


3.1 explain common string operations and their practical applications
3.2 demonstrate the outcome of string operations in
specified algorithms.



Guidance
Links to National Occupational Standards, other BTEC units, other BTEC qualifications and other relevant units and qualifications
The learning outcomes associated with this unit are closely linked with:
Level 3

Level 4

Level 5





Unit 18: Procedural Programming

Unit 40: Distributed Software
Applications







Unit 19: Object Oriented Programming


Unit 41: Programming in Java








Unit 20: Event Driven Programming Solutions


Unit 42: Programming in .NET








Unit 21: Software Applications
Testing,










Unit 22: Office Solutions Development










Unit 23: Mathematics for
Software Development






This unit has links to the Level 4 and Level 5 National Occupational Standards for IT and Telecoms Professionals, particularly the areas of competence of:
• Data
Design
• Software Development.
Resources
Books
Goodrich M, Tamassia R – Data Structures and Algorithms in C++ (Wiley, 2010) ISBN10: 0470383275
Goodrich M, Tamassia R – Data Structures and Algorithms in Java (Wiley, 2005)
ISBN10: 0471738840
Melhorn K, Sanders P – Algorithms and Data Structures: The Basic Toolbox (Springer, 2008) ISBN10: 3540779779
Websites
http://ww3.datastructures.net
http://www.itl.nist.gov/div897/sqg/dads/
Employer
engagement and vocational contexts
To further enrich the content of this unit and to provide more of a vocational context it would be beneficial to bring in programmers or designers from organisations that have engaged with data structures and algorithms within their systems.
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