©2007 Felleisen, Proulx, et. al.

1  Portfolio Problem


This assignment consists of a small program that uses interfaces and classes either from Java’s standard libraries, or from our earlier labs and assignments. The goal is to give you a bit of design freedom: You get to decide which parts of the standard libraries, or which classes and interfaces we already designed are the most suitable to use. If you design well, this assignment should be fairly straightforward.

The goal of the second part is to give you a practice in designing tests using the JUnit test tools and to create documentation in the style that allows you to produce Javadoc documentation for your program.


Some or all of the following interfaces and classes are likely to prove useful. In the java.lang package: Comparable, Iterator, List, Map, Set, Collections.

William Shakespeare

The Application

Have you ever wondered about the size of Shakespeare’s vocabulary? For this assignment you will write a program that reads its input from a text file and lists the words that occur most frequently, together with a count of how many different words occur in the file. If this program were to run on a file that contains all of Shakespeare’s works, it would tell you the approximate size of his vocabulary, and how often he uses the most common words.

Hamlet, for example, contains about 4542 distinct words, and the word "king" occurs 202 times.

The Problem

Start by downloading the file WordCount.zip and making an Eclipse project WordCount that contains these files. Run the project, to make sure you have all pieces in place. The main method is in the class Examples.

You are given the file test.txt that contains the entire text of Hamlet and a file FileReader.java that contains the code that generates the words from the file test.txt one at a time, via an iterator.

Note: Here you will use the imperative Iterator interface that is a part of Java Standard Library. Make sure to look up the documentation for this interface and understand how it works.

The class Examples contain a skeleton of tests and the code that invokes the main method in the FileReader class that processes the input data.

Your tasks are the following:

  1. Design the class Word to represent one word of Shakespeare’s vocabulary, together with its frequency counter. The constructor takes only one String (for example the word "king") and starts the counter at one. We consider one Word instance to be equal to another, if they represent the same word, regardless of the value of the frequency counter. That means that you have to override the method equals() as well as the method hashCode().

  2. Design the class that implements the Comparator interface, so that the words can be sorted by frequencies. (Be careful!) When you are done, place this class definition as the last part of the class definition of the class Word. This is called an inner class.

  3. Include in the class Word the method that allows you to increment the counter (using mutation), and a method toString that prints one line with the word and its frequency.

  4. Design the class WordCounter that keeps track of all the words we have seen so far. It should include the following methods:

    // records the Word objects generated by the given Iterator.
    void countWords (Iterator it) { ... }
    // How many different Words has this WordCounter recorded?
    int words() { ... }
    // Prints the n most common words and their frequencies.
    void printWords (int n) { ... }

    Here are additional details:

  5. countWords consumes an iterator that generates the words and builds the collection of the appropriate Word instances, with the correct frequencies.

  6. words produces the total count of different words that have been consumed.

  7. printWords consumes an integer n and prints the top n words with the highest frequencies (using the toString method defined in the class Word).

Test Design and Management

Of course, you need to test all methods as you are designing them. Design the tests in two stages:

  1. First design the tests as we have done before, using the tester.jar and interface.jar test harness code.

    This prepares us for a new way of running tests, namely using JUnit - Java’s standard test framework.

  2. Introducing JUnit: To get the first taste of using JUnit, convert the tests for this problem to tests that use JUnit as follows:

    In the File menu select New then JUnitTestCase. When the wizard comes up, select to include the main method, the constructor, and the setup method. The tests for each of the methods will then become one test case similar to this one:

     * Testing the method toString
    public void testToString(){
        assertEquals("Hello: 1\n", this.hello1.toString());
        assertEquals("Hello: 3\n", this.hello3.toString());

    We see that assertEquals is basically the same as the test methods for our test harnesses, they just don’t include the name of the test. Try to see what happens when some of the tests fail, when a test throws an exception, and finally, make sure that at the end all tests succeed.

    Note: JUnit uses Java equals method to compare two pieces of data for equality. Make sure your tests are designed to either compare the primitive results of methods, or, when comparing two instances of the class Foo, you have overridden the equals method in the class Foo to reflect your desired equality comparison.

Last modified: Sunday, November 18th, 2007 8:13:04pm