Assignment No. 7 Version 1.0 Solution



Note 1 This assignment is to be done individually

Note 2 You can discuss the assignment with others. Talk about what you need to do, not how it is done. And do not share code.

Due date: as indicated in Connex.

This assignment is worth 1% of your total course mark.

Submit electronically via Connex a single file with your solutions.


After completing this assignment, you will have experience comparing the functional programming and object oriented paradigms.


For this assignment, you will complete and extend two implementations of an interpreter for a small “lan-guage” for two-dimensional geometry objects. An implementation in SML is mostly completed for you. An implementation in Ruby is mostly not completed. The SML implementation is structured with functions and pattern-matching. The Ruby implemented is structured with subclasses and methods, including some mind-bending double dispatch and other dynamic dispatch to stick with an OOP style (even where I think the functional style is easier to understand—we will see what you think at the end of this assignment).

Language Semantics

Our “language” has five kinds of values and four other kinds of expressions. The representation of expres-sions depends on the metalanguage (SML or Ruby), with this same semantics:

A NoPoints represents the empty set of two-dimensional points.

A Point represents a two-dimensional point with an x-coordinate and a y-coordinate. Both coordi-nates are floating-point numbers.

A Line is a non-vertical infinite line in the plane, represented by a slope and an intercept (as in y = mx + b where m is the slope and b is the intercept), both floating-point numbers.

A VerticalLine is an infinite vertical line in the plane, represented by its x-coordinate.

A LineSegment is a (finite) line segment, represented by the x- and y-coordinates of its endpoints (so four total floating-point numbers).


An Intersect expression is not a value. It has two subexpressions. The semantics is to evaluate the subexpressions (in the same environment) and then return the value that is the intersection (in the geometric sense) of the two subresults. For example, the intersection of two lines could be one of:

NoPoints, if the lines are parallel

a Point, if the lines intersect

a Line, if the lines have the same slope and intercept (see the note below about what “the same” means for floating-point numbers)

A Let expression is not a value. It is like let-expressions in other languages we have studied: The first subexpression is evaluated and the result bound to a variable that is added to the environment for evaluating the second subexpression.

A Var expression is not a value. It is for using variables in the environment: We look up a string in the environment to get a geometric value.

A Shift expression is not a value. It has a deltaX (a floating-point number), a deltaY (a floating-point number), and a subexpression. The semantics is to evaluate the subexpression and then shift the result by deltaX (in the x-direction; positive is “to the right”) and deltaY (in the y-direction; positive is “up”). More specifically, shifting for each form of value is as follows:

NoPoints remains NoPoints.

A Point representing (x; y) becomes a Point representing (x + deltaX; y + deltaY ).

A Line with slope m and intercept b becomes a Line with slope m and an intercept of b +

deltaY m deltaX.

A VerticalLine becomes a VerticalLine shifted by deltaX; the deltaY is irrelevant.

A LineSegment has its endpoints shift by deltaX and deltaY .

Note on Floating-Point Numbers

Because arithmetic with floating-point numbers can introduce small rounding errors, it is rarely appropriate to use equality to decide if two floating-point numbers are “the same.” Instead, the provided code uses a helper function/method to decide if two floating-point numbers are “real close” (for our purposes, within

.00001) and all your code should follow this approach as needed. For example, two points are the same if their x-coordinates are within .00001 and their y-coordinates are within .00001.

Expression Preprocessing

To simplify the interpreter, we first preprocess expressions. Preprocessing takes an expression and produces a new, equivalent expression with the following invariants:

No LineSegment anywhere in the expression has endpoints that are the same as (i.e., real close to) each other. Such a line-segment should be replaced with the appropriate Point. For example in ML syntax, LineSegment(3.2,4.1,3.2,4.1) should be replaced with Point(3.2,4.1).


Every LineSegment has its first endpoint (the first two real values in SML) to the left (lower x-value) of the second endpoint. If the x-coordinates of the two endpoints are the same (real close), then the first endpoint has its first endpoint below (lower y-value) the second endpoint. For any LineSegment not meeting this requirement, replace it with a LineSegment with the same endpoints reordered.

The SML Code

Most of the SML solution is given to you. All you have to do is add preprocessing (problem 1) and Shift expressions (problem 2). The sample solution added much less than 60 lines of code. As always, line counts are just a rough guide.

Notice the SML code is organized around a datatype-definition for expressions, functions for the differ-ent operations, and pattern-matching to identify different cases. The interpreter eval_prog uses a helper function intersect with cases for every combination of geometric value (so with 5 kinds of values there are 25 cases though some are handled together via pattern-matching). The surprisingly complicated part is the algorithm for intersecting two line segments.

The Ruby Code

Much of the Ruby solution is not given to you. To get you started in the desired way, we have defined classes for each kind of expression in our language, as well as appropriate superclasses. We have imple-mented parts of each class and left comments with what you need to do to complete the implementation as described in more detail in problems 3 and 4. The sample solution added about 200 lines of Ruby code, many of which were end. As always, line counts are just a rough guide.

Notice the Ruby code is organized around classes where each class has methods for various oper-ations. All kinds of expressions need methods for preprocessing and evaluation. They are subclasses of GeometryExpression just like all ML constructors are part of the geom_exp datatype (though the GeometryExpression class turns out not to be so useful). The value subclasses also need methods for shifting and intersection and they subclass GeometryValue so that some shared methods can be inherited (in analogy with some uses of wildcard patterns and helper functions in ML).

Your Ruby code should follow these general guidelines:

All your geometry-expression objects should be immutable: assign to instance variables only when constructing an object. To “change” a field, create a new object.

The geometry-expression objects have public getter methods: like in the SML code, the entire program can assume the expressions have various coordinates, subexpressions, etc.

Unlike in SML, you do not need to define exceptions since without a type-checker we can just “as-sume” the right objects are used in the right places. You can also use raise with just a string as appropriate.

Follow OOP-style. In particular, operations should be instance methods and you should not use methods like is_a?, instance_of?, class, etc. This makes problem 4 much more difficult, but that is the purpose of the problem.


Your task, should you choose to accept it

1. Implement an SML function preprocess_prog of type geom_exp > geom_exp to implement expression preprocessing as defined above. The idea is that evaluating program e would be done with eval_prog (preprocess_prog e, []) where the [] is the empty list for the empty environ-ment.

  1. Add shift expressions as defined above to the SML implementation by adding the constructor Shift of real * real * geom_exp to the definition of geom_exp and adding appropriate branches to eval_prog and preprocess_prog. (The first real is deltaX and the second is deltaY .) Do not change other functions. In particular, there is no need to change intersect because this function is used only for values in our geometry language and shift expressions are not geometry values.

  1. Complete the Ruby implementation except for intersection, which means skip for now addi-tions to the Intersect class and, more importantly, methods related to intersection in other classes. Do not modify the code given to you. Follow this approach:

Every subclass of GeometryExpression should have a preprocess_prog method that takes no arguments and returns the geometry object that is the result of preprocessing self. To avoid mutation, return a new instance of the same class unless it is trivial to determine that self is already an appropriate result.

Every subclass of GeometryExpression should have an eval_prog method that takes one argument, the environment, which you should represent as an array whose elements are two-element arrays: a Ruby string (the variable name) in index 0 and an object that is a value in our language in index 1. As in any interpreter, pass the appropriate environment when evaluating subexpressions. (This is fairly easy since we do not have closures.) To make sure you handle both scope and shadowing correctly:

Do not ever mutate an environment; create a new environment as needed instead. Be careful what methods you use on arrays to avoid mutation.

The eval_prog method in Var is given to you. Make sure the environments you create work correctly with this definition.

The result of eval_prog is the result of “evaluating the expression represented by self,” so, as we expect with OOP style, the cases of ML’s eval_prog are spread among our classes, just like with preprocess_arg.

Every subclass of GeometryValue should have a shift method that takes two arguments dx and dy and returns the result of shifting self by dx and dy. In other words, all values in the language “know how to shift themselves to create new objects.” Hence the eval_prog method in the Shift class should be very short.

Remember you should not use any method like is_a?, instance_of?, class, etc.

Analogous to SML, an overall program e would be evaluated via e.preprocess_prog.eval_prog [] (notice we use an array for the environment).

  1. Implement intersection in your Ruby solution following the directions here, in which we require both double dispatch and a separate use of dynamic dispatch for the line-segment case. Remember all the different cases in ML will appear somewhere in the Ruby solution, just arranged very differently.


Implement preprocess_prog and eval_prog in the Intersect class. This is not difficult, much like your prior work in the Shift class is not difficult. This is because every subclass of GeometryValue will have an intersect method that “knows how to intersect itself” with another geometry-value passed as an argument.

Every subclass of GeometryValue needs an intersect method, but these will be short. The argument is another geometry-value, but we do not know what kind. So we use double dispatch and call the appropriate method on the argument passing self to the method. For example, the Point class has an intersect method that calls intersectPoint with self.

So methods intersectNoPoints, intersectPoint, intersectLine, intersectVerticalLine, and intersectLineSegment defined in each of our 5 subclasses of GeometryValue handle

the 25 possible intersection combinations:

The 9 cases involving NoPoints are done for you. See the GeometryValue class—there is nothing more you need to do.

Next do the 9 remaining cases involving combinations that do not involve LineSegment. You will need to understand double-dispatch to avoid is_a? and instance_of?. As in the ML code, 3 of these 9 cases can just use one of the other cases because intersection is commutative.

What remains are the 7 cases where one value is a LineSegment and the other is not NoPoints. These cases are all “done” for you because all subclasses of GeometryValue inherit an intersectLineSegment method that will be correct for all of them. But it calls intersectWithSegmentAsLineResult, which you need to implement for each sub-class of GeometryValue. Here is how this method should work:

It takes one argument, which is a line segment. (In ML the corresponding variable was a real*real*real*real, but here it will actually be an instance of LineSegment and you can use the getter methods x1, y1, x2, and y2 as needed.)

It assumes that self is the intersection of (1) some not-provided geometry-value and

(2) the line (vertical or not) containing the segment given as an argument.

It returns the intersection of the not-provided geometry-value and the segment given as an argument.

Together the 5 intersectWithSegmentAsLineResult methods you write will imple-ment the same algorithm as on lines 110–169 of the ML code.


Advice for Approaching the Assignment:

Understand the high-level structure of the code and how the SML and Ruby files are structured in different ways before diving into the details.

Approach the questions in order even though there is some flexibility (e.g., it is possible to do the Ruby problems before the SML problems).

Because almost all the SML code is given to you, for much of the Ruby implementation, you can port the corresponding part of the SML solution. Doing so makes your job much easier (e.g., you need not


re-figure out facts about geometry). Porting existing code to a new language is a useful and realistic skill to develop. It also helps teach the similarities and differences between languages.

Be sure to test each line of your Ruby code. Dynamically typed languages require testing things that other languages catch for you statically. Ruby will not even tell you statically if you misspell a method name or instance variable.

Provided Code

Download and edit hw7.sml and hw7.rb from the course website. I have provided tests cases as usual. Use them to understand what you need to do and test your code. My recommendation: keep track of what you have done and what you need to do.


Solutions should be:

  1. Correct. We will play your game and we don’t like games that crash or act in unexpected ways.

  1. In good style, including indentation and line breaks.

As usual, submit only two files: hw7.sml and hw7.rb