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some amazon interview algorithm questions

by JC, published: 2008-12-27 16:08 viewed: 1042 times
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Phone interview with Amazon. The interviewer said this was just an initial screening and there was lots more to go, if I clear this one. The questions he asked made it seem like he just wanted to know whether I had an idea about these topics rather than interviewing me. The first few questions below are Generic Resume questions. Others relates to my research area which is Distributed Computing.

1. Explain me your failure detector and membership management algorithm that you have implemented and tested on a 960-processor distributed system? (He dint wait for me to expalin the full algorithm, and started asking questions about it in betwwe. Actually it helped)

2. Did you use a Pull based or Push based algorithm?

3. How does each processor send the notification that it is alive?

4. So the main failure detector is centralized?

5. So How did you avoid centralization?

Actually there were quite a lot of questions that followed. Most of them dealt with avoiding centralization and scaling?? He said that the problems I was attacking are quite similar to what they face in Amazon and that he liked my ideas and work and is pretty impressed with it.(This is my third interview, I guess the earlier two had also told me the same thing but about my work, but, they both rejected me after the respective on-site interviews...so i consider all this as Blah Blah)

7. Tell me how a TCP conection is set up?

Explained him the three-way handshake. Forgot what the

6. Given a topological graph ( you know that famous undergraduate courses graph with course prerequisites), how will u tell a student what prerequisites he has to take before taking an advanced course.

I answered using DFS. I remember learning somewhere in school that this can be solved using DFS. But he dint agree. I couldnt think of anything else. Then he answered saying you follow each leaf of the graph thill you reach the course. I was confused, anyways he said forget it.

7. How much time does it take to sort n numbers. Me: Depends on the algorithm you use.

8. whcih algorithm will you use in a general case. Quicksort

7. What is a median. (I was still thinking bout the previous question and answered this one wrong too. He corrected me)

8. How will you calculate median of n numbers: me: sort and the number at the center...will take nlog n time.

9. Can u tell me a O(n) method: me: I cant think of any right now, but i guess you can use quicksort and choosing the right pivot.

10. STL - Heaps, Linked Lists.

11. Virtual Functions: Tell me all you know.

12. What are exceptions..state with an example.
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