Merit Systems Private Limited ( call based drive 2017 batch )

Merit Systems Private Limited ( call based drive 2017 batch )
drive date 29 th may
Address: 55/C/42/1, Nandi Mansion, Elephant Rock Road, 40, 8, Jaya Nagar, Jaya Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560069

What is a Data Structure?
A data structure is a way of organizing the data so that the data can be used efficiently. Different kinds of data structures are suited to different kinds of applications, and some are highly specialized to specific tasks. For example, B-trees are particularly well-suited for implementation of databases, while compiler implementations usually use hash tables to look up identifiers. (Source: Wiki Page)

What are linear and non linear data Structures?

Linear: A data structure is said to be linear if its elements form a sequence or a linear list. Examples: Array. Linked List, Stacks and Queues
Non-Linear: A data structure is said to be non-linear if traversal of nodes is nonlinear in nature. Example: Graph and Trees.

What are the various operations that can be performed on different Data Structures?

Insertion − Add a new data item in the given collection of data items.
Deletion − Delete an existing data item from the given collection of data items.
Traversal − Access each data item exactly once so that it can be processed.
Searching − Find out the location of the data item if it exists in the given collection of data items.
Sorting − Arranging the data items in some order i.e. in ascending or descending order in case of numerical data and in dictionary order in case of alphanumeric data.

How is an Array different from Linked List?

The size of the arrays is fixed, Linked Lists are Dynamic in size.
Inserting and deleting a new element in an array of elements is expensive, Whereas both insertion and deletion can easily be done in Linked Lists.
Random access is not allowed in Linked Listed.
Extra memory space for a pointer is required with each element of the Linked list.
Arrays have better cache locality that can make a pretty big difference in performance.

What is Stack and where it can be used?

Stack is a linear data structure which the order LIFO(Last In First Out) or FILO(First In Last Out) for accessing elements. Basic operations of stack are : Push, Pop , Peek

Applications of Stack:

Infix to Postfix Conversion using Stack
Evaluation of Postfix Expression
Reverse a String using Stack
Implement two stacks in an array
Check for balanced parentheses in an expression

What is a Queue, how it is different from stack and how is it implemented?

Queue is a linear structure which follows the order is First In First Out (FIFO) to access elements. Mainly the following are basic operations on queue: Enqueue, Dequeue, Front, Rear
The difference between stacks and queues is in removing. In a stack we remove the item the most recently added; in a queue, we remove the item the least recently added. Both Queues and Stacks can be implemented using Arrays and Linked Lists.

What are Infix, prefix, Postfix notations?

Infix notation: X + Y – Operators are written in-between their operands. This is the usual way we write expressions. An expression such as
A * ( B + C ) / D
Postfix notation (also known as “Reverse Polish notation”): X Y + Operators are written after their operands. The infix expression given above is equivalent to
A B C + * D/
Prefix notation (also known as “Polish notation”): + X Y Operators are written before their operands. The expressions given above are equivalent to
/ * A + B C D
Converting between these notations: Click here

What is a Linked List and What are its types?

A linked list is a linear data structure (like arrays) where each element is a separate object. Each element (that is node) of a list is comprising of two items – the data and a reference to the next node.Types of Linked List :

Singly Linked List : In this type of linked list, every node stores address or reference of next node in list and the last node has next address or reference as NULL. For example 1->2->3->4->NULL
Doubly Linked List : Here, here are two references associated with each node, One of the reference points to the next node and one to the previous node. Eg. NULL<-1<->2<->3->NULL
Circular Linked List : Circular linked list is a linked list where all nodes are connected to form a circle. There is no NULL at the end. A circular linked list can be a singly circular linked list or doubly circular linked list. Eg. 1->2->3->1 [The next pointer of last node is pointing to the first]

Which data structures are used for BFS and DFS of a graph?

Queue is used for BFS
Stack is used for DFS. DFS can also be implemented using recursion (Note that recursion also uses function call stack).

Can doubly linked be implemented using a single pointer variable in every node?
Doubly linked list can be implemented using a single pointer. See XOR Linked List – A Memory Efficient Doubly Linked List

How to implement a stack using queue?

A stack can be implemented using two queues. Let stack to be implemented be ‘s’ and queues used to implement be ‘q1’ and ‘q2’. Stack ‘s’ can be implemented in two ways:

Method 1 (By making push operation costly)
Method 2 (By making pop operation costly) See Implement Stack using Queues

How to implement a queue using stack?

A queue can be implemented using two stacks. Let queue to be implemented be q and stacks used to implement q be stack1 and stack2. q can be implemented in two ways:

Method 1 (By making enQueue operation costly)
Method 2 (By making deQueue operation costly) See Implement Queue using Stacks

Which Data Structure Should be used for implementiong LRU cache?

We use two data structures to implement an LRU Cache.

Queue which is implemented using a doubly linked list. The maximum size of the queue will be equal to the total number of frames available (cache size).The most recently used pages will be near front end and least recently pages will be near rear end.
A Hash with page number as key and address of the corresponding queue node as value. See How to implement LRU caching scheme? What data structures should be used?

How to check if a given Binary Tree is BST or not?
If inorder traversal of a binary tree is sorted, then the binary tree is BST. The idea is to simply do inorder traversal and while traversing keep track of previous key value. If current key value is greater, then continue, else return false. See A program to check if a binary tree is BST or not for more details.

Linked List Questions

Linked List Insertion
Linked List Deletion
middle of a given linked list
Nth node from the end of a Linked List

Tree Traversal Questions

Inorder
Preorder and Postoder Traversals
Level order traversal
Height of Binary Tree

Convert a DLL to Binary Tree in-place
See In-place conversion of Sorted DLL to Balanced BST

Convert Binary Tree to DLL in-place
See Convert a given Binary Tree to Doubly Linked List | Set 1, Convert a given Binary Tree to Doubly Linked List | Set 2

Delete a given node in a singly linked list
Given only a pointer to a node to be deleted in a singly linked list, how do you delete it?

Reverse a Linked List
Write a function to reverse a linked list

Detect Loop in a Linked List
Write a C function to detect loop in a linked list.

1. Which two method you need to implement for key Object in HashMap ?
In order to use any object as Key in HashMap, it must implements equals and hashcode method in Java. Read How HashMap works in Java for detailed explanation on how equals and hashcode method is used to put and get object from HashMap.

2. What is immutable object? Can you write immutable object?Immutable classes are Java classes whose objects can not be modified once created. Any modification in Immutable object result in new object. For example is String is immutable in Java. Mostly Immutable are also final in Java, in order to prevent sub class from overriding methods in Java which can compromise Immutability. You can achieve same functionality by making member as non final but private and not modifying them except in constructor.

3. What is the difference between creating String as new() and literal?
When we create string with new() Operator, it’s created in heap and not added into string pool while String created using literal are created in String pool itself which exists in PermGen area of heap.

String s = new String(“Test”);

does not put the object in String pool , we need to call String.intern() method which is used to put them into String pool explicitly. its only when you create String object as String literal e.g. String s = “Test” Java automatically put that into String pool.

4. What is difference between StringBuffer and StringBuilder in Java ?

Classic Java questions which some people thing tricky and some consider very easy. StringBuilder in Java is introduced in Java 5 and only difference between both of them is that Stringbuffer methods are synchronized while StringBuilder is non synchronized. See StringBuilder vs StringBuffer for more differences.

5. Write code to find the First non repeated character in the String ?
Another good Java interview question, This question is mainly asked by Amazon and equivalent companies. See first non repeated character in the string : Amazon interview question

6. What is the difference between ArrayList and Vector ?
This question is mostly used as a start up question in Technical interviews on the topic of Collection framework . Answer is explained in detail here Difference between ArrayList and Vector .

7. How do you handle error condition while writing stored procedure or accessing stored procedure from java?
This is one of the tough Java interview question and its open for all, my friend didn’t know the answer so he didn’t mind telling me. my take is that stored procedure should return error code if some operation fails but if stored procedure itself fail than catching SQLException is only choice.

8. What is difference between Executor.submit() and Executer.execute() method ?
There is a difference when looking at exception handling. If your tasks throws an exception and if it was submitted with execute this exception will go to the uncaught exception handler (when you don’t have provided one explicitly, the default one will just print the stack trace to System.err). If you submitted the task with submit any thrown exception, checked exception or not, is then part of the task’s return status. For a task that was submitted with submit and that terminates with an exception, the Future.get will re-throw this exception, wrapped in an ExecutionException.

9. What is the difference between factory and abstract factory pattern?
Abstract Factory provides one more level of abstraction. Consider different factories each extended from an Abstract Factory and responsible for creation of different hierarchies of objects based on the type of factory. E.g. AbstractFactory extended by AutomobileFactory, UserFactory, RoleFactory etc. Each individual factory would be responsible for creation of objects in that genre.
You can also refer What is Factory method design pattern in Java to know more details.

10. What is Singleton? is it better to make whole method synchronized or only critical section synchronized ?
Singleton in Java is a class with just one instance in whole Java application, for example java.lang.Runtime is a Singleton class. Creating Singleton was tricky prior Java 4 but once Java 5 introduced Enum its very easy. see my article How to create thread-safe Singleton in Java for more details on writing Singleton using enum and double checked locking which is purpose of this Java interview question.

11. Can you write critical section code for singleton?
This core Java question is followup of previous question and expecting candidate to write Java singleton using double checked locking. Remember to use volatile variable to make Singleton thread-safe.

12. Can you write code for iterating over hashmap in Java 4 and Java 5 ?
Tricky one but he managed to write using while and for loop.

13. When do you override hashcode and equals() ?
Whenever necessary especially if you want to do equality check or want to use your object as key in HashMap.

14. What will be the problem if you don’t override hashcode() method ?
You will not be able to recover your object from hash Map if that is used as key in HashMap.
See here How HashMap works in Java for detailed explanation.

15. Is it better to synchronize critical section of getInstance() method or whole getInstance() method ?
Answer is critical section because if we lock whole method than every time some one call this method will have to wait even though we are not creating any object)

16. What is the difference when String is gets created using literal or new() operator ?
When we create string with new() its created in heap and not added into string pool while String created using literal are created in String pool itself which exists in Perm area of heap.

17. Does not overriding hashcode() method has any performance implication ?
This is a good question and open to all , as per my knowledge a poor hashcode function will result in frequent collision in HashMap which eventually increase time for adding an object into Hash Map.

18. What’s wrong using HashMap in multithreaded environment? When get() method go to infinite loop ?
Another good question. His answer was during concurrent access and re-sizing.

19. What do you understand by thread-safety ? Why is it required ? And finally, how to achieve thread-safety in Java Applications ?

Java Memory Model defines the legal interaction of threads with the memory in a real computer system. In a way, it describes what behaviors are legal in multi-threaded code. It determines when a Thread can reliably see writes to variables made by other threads. It defines semantics for volatile, final & synchronized, that makes guarantee of visibility of memory operations across the Threads.