2016-04-06

Wagner-Fischer Demo in JavaScript with Screen Video

About one year ago, I programmed a little demo animation illustrating how the algorithm for pairwise alignment by Wagner and Fischer (1974) is computed for two strings. It was the first time that I worked with timeouts in JavaScript and quite challenging to write, although I had implemented the basic code for the alignment algorithm long time before in JavaScript. I used the demo in a seminar on Python and JavaScript Computing for the purpose of language comparison, hoping it would help students to quickly understand what the basic alignment algorithm and all the idea of dynamic programming is about. I am, however, not completely sure to which degree it really helped. Anyway, given that I still like the animation, and that I still think that it may turn out to be useful in the context of teaching, I thought I share it at this point. Here you can directly access the demo. If you want to see my little demo screen video I made with RecordItNow, just see below, or click here if the video doesn't work in your browser.