Lab 10 In-Class: More Classes
In this lab you will develop a class that models a random walk and write
two client programs that use the class. A random walk is basically a
sequence of steps in some enclosed space where the direction of each
step is random. The walk terminates either when a maximum number of steps
has been taken or a step goes outside of the boundary of the space.
Random walks are used to model physical phenomena
such as the motion of molecules and economic phenomena such as stock
We will assume that the random walk takes place on a square grid with
the point (0,0) at the center. The boundary of the square will be a single
integer that represents the maximum x and y coordinate for the current
position on the square (so for a boundary value of 10, both the x and y
coordinates can vary from -10 to 10, inclusive). Each step will be one
unit up, one unit down, one unit to the left, or one unit to the right.
(No diagonal movement.)
The RandomWalk class will have the following instance data
(all type int):
Open a file RandomWalk.java in emacs.
You'll define the RandomWalk class incrementally testing each part
as you go.
- the x coordinate of the current position
- the y coordinate of the current position
- the maximum number of steps in the walk (the walk terminates when the
number of steps exceeds this)
- the number of steps taken so far in the walk
- the boundary of the square (a positive integer -- the x and y
coordinates of the position can vary between plus and minus this
- First declare the instance data (as described above) and add the
following two constructors and toString method.
- RandomWalk (int max, int edge) - Initializes the RandomWalk
object. The maximum number of
steps and the boundary are given by the parameters.
The x and y coordinates and the number of steps taken so far
should be set to 0.
- RandomWalk (int max, int edge, int startX, int startY) --
the maximum number of steps, the boundary, and the starting position
to those given by the parameters.
- String toString() - returns a String containing the
number of steps taken so far and the current position -- The string
should look something like: Steps: 12; Position: (-3,5)
- Compile what you have so far then open the file
TestWalk.java. This file will be used
to test your RandomWalk methods. So far it prompts
the user to enter a boundary, a maximum number of steps, and the
x and y coordinates of a position. Add the following:
- Declare and instantiate two RandomWalk objects -- one with boundary 5, maximum
steps 10, and centered at the origin (use the two parameter constructor)
and the other with the values entered by the user.
- Print out each object. Note that you won't get any information about the
boundary or maximum number of steps (think about what your toString
method does), but that's ok.
Compile and run the program to make sure everything is correct so far.
- Next add the following method to the RandomWalk class:
This method simulates taking a single step either
up, down, left, or right.
To "take a step" generate a random number
with 4 values (say 0, 1, 2, 3)
then use a switch statement to change the position (one random value
will represent going right, one left, and so on). Your method should
also increment the number of steps taken. Use either the Random class
or Math.random from the Math class to generate the random number.
- Add a for loop to
TestWalk.java to have each of your RandomWalk objects take 5 steps.
Print out each object after each step so you can see what is going on.
Compile and run the program to make sure it is correct so far. The
walk is random so each time you run the program the positions will
- Now add to RandomWalk.java the following two methods. Each should
be a single return statement that returns the value of a boolean expression.
- boolean moreSteps() - returns true if the number of steps
taken is less than the maximum number; returns false otherwise
- boolean inBounds() - returns true if the current position
is on the square (include the boundary as part of the square); returns false
- Add to the RandomWalk class a method named walk that has no
parameters and returns nothing. Its job is to simulate a complete
random walk. That is, it should generate a sequence of steps as long
the maximum number of steps has not been taken and it is still
in bounds (inside the square). This should be a very simple loop
(while or do... while) --- you will need to call the methods takeStep,
moreSteps, and inBounds.
- Compile the class and correct any syntax errors.
- Add to TestWalk.java a statement to instantiate a RandomWalk object
with a boundary of 10 and 200 as the maximum number of steps.
(You may want to comment out most of the code currently in TestWalk --
especially the user input and the loop that takes five
steps -- as the walk method will be easier to test on its own. The
/* ... */ style of comment is useful for this.)
add a statement to have the object walk. Print the object after the
walk. Compile and run the program. Run it more than once -- you should
be able to tell by the value printed whether the object went out of
bounds or whether it stopped because it reached the maximum number of
- Now write a client program in a file named DrunkenWalk.java.
The program should simulate a drunk staggering randomly on some sort of
platform (imagine a square dock in the middle of a lake). The goal
of the program is to have the program simulate the walk many times
(because of randomness each walk is different) and count the number of
times the drunk falls off the platform (goes out of bounds). Your
program should read in the boundary, the maximum number of steps, and
the number of drunks to simulate.
It should then have a loop (a for loop would be a good idea) that on each
iteration instantiates a new RandomWalk object to represent a drunk,
has the object walk, then determines whether or not the drunk
fell off the platform (and updates a counter if it did). After the
loop print out the number of times the drunk fell off and the number
of times it didn't. Compile and run your program. To see the
"randomness" you should run it several times. Try input of 10 for
the boundary and 200 for the number of steps first (sometimes the drunk
falls off, sometimes not); try 10 for the boundary and 500 for the steps
(you should see different behavior); try 50 for the boundary and 200
for the steps (again different behavior).
- Finally you will write a second client program in a
file named Collisions.java.
This program should simulate two particles moving in space. Its goal
is to determine the number of times the two particles collide (occupy
exactly the same position after the same number of steps -- the steps
could be thought of as simulating time). This means your program
needs a way to determine whether or not the particles (the RandomWalk
objects) are in the same position. Hence, you need to add
some methods to the RandomWalk class to do this. So, before
writing the collisions program, add the following methods to the RandomWalk class.
- int getX() - returns the x coordinate of the current position
- int getY() - returns the y coordinate of the current position
- static boolean samePosition (RandomWalk p1, RandomWalk p2) -
returns true if RandomWalk objects p1 and p2 have the same x coordinates
and the same y coordinates.
Note that all three methods are public. Compile the RandomWalk class
to make sure there are no syntax errors.
- Now write the client program Collisions.java.
particles are in a very large space so use a large number for the
boundary (such as 2,000,000). Use 100,000 for the maximum number of steps. (Don't enter the commas.)
Start one particle at (-3, 0) and the other at (3, 0).
You can hardcode these values into the program; no need to have the user
Your program should contain a loop that has each particle take a step
as long as the particles have not exceeded the maximum number of steps.
The program then determines how often the particles have collided.
The program should call the static method samePosition you just
added to the RandomWalk class to determine if the particles are in
the same position (have "collided").
Compile and run your program to make sure it works. As before run
it several times.
- ** EXTRA CREDIT ** In using random walks to simulate
behavior it is often of interest to know how far away from the origin
(in either the horizontal or vertical direction) the object gets as it moves.
- Add an instance variable maxDistance
(type int) to the RandomWalk class. This should be set to 0 in each
- Now the takeStep method needs to
update this maximum when a step is taken.
This can be
done in a single statement using the max method of the Math class
(which has two parameters and returns the largest) -- the new value
of maxDistance should be the maximum of 1) the old value of maxDistance,
and 2) the current distance to the origin (which is defined to be the
maximum of the absolute values of the current x and y coordinates).
Note that if the current point is (-3, 15)
the distance to the origin is 15; if the current point is
(-10, 7) the distance to the origin is 10. Remember that Math.abs returns
the absolute value of a number.
- Finally add an accessor method to return that distance so
a client program can access it.
public int getMaxDistance()
- Test the maximum by adding statements in Collisions.java to get and
print the maximum distance for each of the particles after the
What to Turn In
Turn in hardcopy of RandomWalk.java, TestWalk.java, DrunkenWalk.java, and Collisions.java. Tar your lab10 directory and email it to your instructor
with cpsc120 lab10 in the subject line.