Hamming Distance : Nucleic Acid Bases String Java Program Code

Hamming Distance is used to find the number of  substitutions required to match the string . There is a limitation though that it can be applied to the strings of equal length .
It is calculated by creating a distance matrix .
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Hamming Distance is all about to find the number of differences in the alphabets at the same index of the compared strings . The number of difference in the position of alphabet would correspond to the number of substitutions required to make the strings equal .Here the alphabets are compared in CASE INSENSITIVE
,so, 'a' or 'A'  is same here .
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for example here in this example we are comparing only the bases of the nucleic acids . There are four type of bases ,that is

'A' which stands for Adenine ,
'C'   stands for Cytosine
'T'   stands for Thymine
'G'  stands for Guanine

So here we compare the strings which are made of the above mentioned alphabets .
Must Check: Snakes And Ladder Game
for example :

Let us consider two strings which consists only the bases of the nucleic acids ,
so suppose
First string is "Atcg" , and
Second string is "ACCC"
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so here we can see at 1st position there is same alphabet 'a'  . Moving forward to the next position there is 't'
in first string and 'C' in second , so these are clearly not equal so here is our first difference .
Similarly there is one more difference in last position of the both strings .So total there are two differences in the string , hence ,
Its hamming distance is 2 .

You can also calculate like this

A    t       g
A   C   C   C                               
0    1    0   1          , hence  hamming distance is 2 .

So, we can also say that we are applying  the XOR operation between two strings .The term hamming comes from the scientist Richard Hamming  who first documented its details in the Hamming codes Error detecting and error correcting codes in 1950 . This algorithm  has been applied in many fields in day to day life , one example of such field is telecommunication .
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Demo :

hamming distance java program code

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import java.util.Scanner;

public class Hamming {
    *    @author Sonia
    *    Hamming.class
    * @return true if and only if every character in the input String s is one of a, A, c, C, g, G, t or T.
    * @return false if s is null or empty.
    public static boolean isDNASequence(String s) {
        // TODO fill in this method
        if(s.length()==0 || s.equals(null))
        return false;
            String temp=  s.toUpperCase();
            for (int i=0;i < temp.length();i++)
                char c=temp.charAt(i);
                if( c=='A' || c=='T' || c== 'C' || c=='G' || c==' ')
                System.exit(0) ;
            return true;
    * Get the distance matrix
    * @param sequences - array of sequences
    * @return distance matrix
    public static int[][] getDistances(String[] sequences) {
        String s1=sequences[0];
        String s2=sequences[1];
        if(s1 == null || s2==null)
        int m = s1.length();
        int n = s2.length();
        // normalize case
        s1 = s1.toUpperCase();
        s2 = s2.toUpperCase();
        int distance[][] =new int[40][40];
        // Instead of a 2d array of space O(m*n) such as int d[][] = new int[m +
        // 1][n + 1], only the previous row and current row need to be stored at
        // any one time in prevD[] and currD[].
        int prevD[] = new int[n + 1];
        int currD[] = new int[n + 1];
        int temp[]; // temporary pointer for swapping
        // the distance of any second string to an empty first string
        for (int j = 0; j < n + 1; j++) {
            prevD[j] = j;
        // for each row in the distance matrix
        for (int i = 0; i < m; i++) {
            // the distance of any first string to an empty second string
            currD[0] = i + 1;
            char ch1 = s1.charAt(i);
            // for each column in the distance matrix
            for (int j = 1; j <= n; j++) {
                char ch2 = s2.charAt(j - 1);
                if (ch1 == ch2) {
                    currD[j] = prevD[j - 1];
                    } else {
                    currD[j] = Math.min(prevD[j] + 1, Math.min(currD[j - 1] + 1, prevD[j - 1] + 1));
            temp = prevD;
            prevD = currD;
            currD = temp;
        return distance;
    * Get the hamming distance between two string sequences
    * @param sequence1 - the first sequence
    * @param sequence2 - the second sequence
    * @return the hamming distance
    public static int getHammingDistance(String sequence1, String sequence2){
        // TODO fill in this method
        int distance =0;
        if(sequence1 == null || sequence2==null)
        sequence1 = sequence1.toUpperCase();
        sequence2 = sequence2.toUpperCase();
        if(sequence1.length() != sequence2.length())
            System.out.println("The string are not equal in length ,Please enter the strings wit equal lengths ");
        for(int i=0;i < sequence1.length();i++)
        return distance;
    * Main method
    * 1. Go through the parameters
    * 2. Ensure they are valid DNA sequences
    * 3. Get the hamming distance matrix
    * 4. Print out the highest difference
    * @param args - program arguments
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // TODO fill in this main method code below this line
        System.out.println("please enter the dna string sequence");
        char []store =new char[40];
        String [] tokens=new String[40];
        String [] subtoken=new String[40];
        Scanner in =new Scanner(System.in);
        String s=in.nextLine();
        for(int i=0;i < s.length();i++)
        tokens = s.split(" ");
        for(int m=0; m < tokens.length;m++){
        int d= getHammingDistance(subtoken[0], subtoken[1]);
        System.out.print("Hamming distance is " + d);

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