©2006 Felleisen, Proulx, et. al.

11  Using Java Collections; JUnit

Part 1: Eliza Doolittle

In the lab you started working on the Eliza program that allows the computer to interact with the user by providing replies to a series of questions. As the first problem for this assignment, finish the program. Include as a commented-out .java file a sample transcript of the user-computer interaction.



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 second goal is to complete the introduction to Java program design standards. The program you produce will eventually use the JUnit test tools and will include 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.

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.

Part 2: William Shakespeare

Start by downloading the file HW11.zip and making an Eclipse project HW11 that contains these files. Add jpt.jar as a Variable to your project. 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 Week11.java that contains the code that generates the words from the file test.txt one at a time, via an iterator.

The classes Tester and Examples contain a test harness similar to the SimpleTestHarness used in the previous two assignments, but improved to catch exceptions raised whie running the tests. More about this later...

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. Include in the class Word an inner class that implements the Comparator interface, so that the words can be sorted by frequencies. (Be careful!)

  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).

Part 2: The Testing

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

  1. For the class Word use a technique similar to what was done in the past two asisgnments, i.e. design a class SimpleTests that instantiates the class Tester as well as the necessary sample data and collects all tests in a method void run(). At the end of this method it invokes either the testReport or the fullTestReport method to report on the results.

  2. When designing the class WordCounter, upgrade to the next level of the test harness. The class Tester contains the following driver for the tests:

    // run the tests, accept the class to be tested as a visitor
      void runTests(Testable f) {
        this.n = 0;
        try {
        catch (Throwable e) {  // catch all exceptions
          this.errors = this.errors + 1;
          console.out.println("Threw exception during test " + this.n);
        finally {
        // to be run after all tests have been performed
        public void done(){
          if (this.errors > 0)
            console.out.print("Failed " + this.errors + " out of ");
    	console.out.print("Passed all ");
    	console.out.println (this.n + " tests.");

    The class Examples implements the Testable interface that contains just one method:

      void tests(Tester t);	

    Inside of this method the class Examples invokes the appropriate test methods on the instance t of the Tester.

    So we have a chicken and egg problem here. The class Tester wants to know what is the Examples instance that is running the tests, so that it can invoke the method tests(Tester t) defined in the Examples class inside of the Tester's try clause.

    The class Examples in turn needs an instance of the class Tester so that it can invoke each test method inside of the method tests(Tester t).

    The main gain is that every invocation of the methods test is wrapped inside of the try clause and if an exception is thrown, the error report indicates which one of the tests failed.

    The only thing you need to do is to include all your tests and the needed sample data inside of the tests(Tester t) method in the class Examples.

    This prepares us for the third way of running tests, namely using JUnit - Java's standard test framework.

  3. Introducing JUnit. You will now rewrite all your tests using the JUnit. 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.

Part 3: The Documentation

You may have noticed that the style in which we write documentation for this assignment has changed. When written in the well formatted javadoc style, the comments can used to generate web pages of documentation with cross-references and browsing capabilities. There are a few basic rules, the rest you should learn on your own, gradually, as you become more and more skilled Java programmers.

Here are comments to specify the name of the file, and the class definition:

 * @(#)Word.java    28 March 28 2005

 *  <P><CODE>Word</CODE> represents one word and its 
 * number of occurrences counted in the  
 * <CODE>{@link WordCounter WordCounter}</CODE> class.</P>
 * @see Comparable
 * @author Viera K. Proulx
public class Word implements Comparable {

The @author and @see identify the author and provide a cross-reference to other classes as specified.

Each field in the class has its own comment:

 * the frequency counter
public int counter;

Each method has a comment that includes a separate line for each parameter as well as for the return value:

     * Compare two <CODE>Object</CODE>s for equality
     * @param obj the object to compare to
     * @return true if the two objects have the same contents
    public boolean equals(Object obj){

The @param has to be followed by the identifier used for that parameter. The <CODE> and </CODE> tags specify the formatting for the document to be the teletype font for representing the code.

Eclipse helps you to write the documentation. If you start the comment line with /** and hit the return, the beginnings of remaining comment lines are generated automatically, and you only need to add the relevant information.

When you have finished all the documentation, select the item Generate Javadoc... in the Project menu. To see your web pages, just open the tab doc in the Package Explorer window under your project and double click on the index.html.

Last modified: Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 5:29:43pm