Most of you have probably tried to type an SMS message on the keypad of a cellular phone. It is sometimes very annoying to write longer messages, because one key must be usually pressed several times to produce a single letter. It is due to a low number of keys on the keypad. Typical phone has twelve keys only (and maybe some other control keys that are not used for typing). Moreover, only eight keys are used for typing 26 letters of an English alphabet. The standard assignment of letters on the keypad is shown in the left picture:
There are 3 or 4 letters assigned to each key. If you want the first letter of any group, you press that key once. If you want the second letter, you have to press the key twice. For other letters, the key must be pressed three or four times. The authors of the keyboard did not try to optimise the layout for minimal number of keystrokes. Instead, they preferred the even distribution of letters among the keys. Unfortunately, some letters are more frequent than others. Some of these frequent letters are placed on the third or even fourth place on the standard keyboard. For example, S is a very common letter in an English alphabet, and we need four keystrokes to type it. If the assignment of characters was like in the right picture, the keyboard would be much more comfortable for typing average English texts.
ACM have decided to put an optimised version of the keyboard on its new cellular phone. Now they need a computer program that will find an optimal layout for the given letter frequency. We need to preserve alphabetical order of letters, because the user would be confused if the letters were mixed. But we can assign any number of letters to a single key.