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Computational Geometry: Algorithms and Applications [Hardcover]

Mark de Berg , Otfried Cheong , Marc van Kreveld , Mark Overmars
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 7 2008 3540779736 978-3540779735 3rd ed. 2008
This introduction to computational geometry focuses on algorithms. Motivation is provided from the application areas as all techniques are related to particular applications in robotics, graphics, CAD/CAM, and geographic information systems. Modern insights in computational geometry are used to provide solutions that are both efficient and easy to understand and implement.

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"An excellent introduction to the field is given here, including a general motivation and usage cases beyond simple graphics rendering or interaction." from the ACM Reviews by William Fahle, University of Texas at Dallas, USA

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read June 4 2012
By Basil
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Easy reading, excellent text on the topic. I'm coming from a Geomatics (CompSci/Geog) based background and in my 4th year of University.

Every chapter starts with an overview of the problem with real world examples, simple solutions to this that are not optimized nor consider degenerate cases, and then goes into a 'how can we make this better' style of discussion with excellent justifications along the way.

There is an expectation that you are familiar with basic algorithm design, performance analysis, and data structures.
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By Jason
(1) Each chapter begins with a practical example. For example, the chapter computing intersections of lines starts with a discussion of a map-making application that goes into enough detail to see how the algorithms they present would be useful. This is a considerable step up from the common practice in algorithms literature of motivation by way of vaguely mentioning some related field (i.e. "These string matching algorithms are useful in computational biology"). This book does a much better job of motivating the material it presents, but if you're primarily interested in the abstract problem, these sections can be skipped.
(2) Each chapter is relatively self-contained. Feel free to skip ahead to subjects that interest you.
(3) Surprisingly readable. Unlike most technical material, one can read an entire chapter in a single sitting without missing much. Generally, each chapter will develop a single algorithm for a single kind of problem.
(4) It's very up to date. This second edition is less than two years old, it includes some new results in the field.
(1) Algorithms are only given in pseudocode. The emphasis is on describing algorithms and data structures clearly and completely. If you're looking for a "cookbook" with code to copy and paste into an application, perhaps O'Rourke's "Computational Geometry in C" would be a better choice.
(2) There are many important advanced results that are not discussed in the main text. An obvious example is the first chapter, which describes a well-known convex hull algorithm that takes O(n log n) time but algorithms that are faster for most inputs are mentioned only in the "Notes and Comments" at the end of the chapter. Someone interested in lots of gory details would be well-served to combine this book with Boissonnat and Yvinec's more detailed and mathematical "Algorithmic Geometry".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely well written Oct. 26 2002
Algorithm books are often quite hard to understand, but this is not the case with this book. The information is very compact so it is a slow read but due to the high quality of the text this is only an advantage. You are never left wondering what the authors might have meant with a certain statement.
The book focuses solely on theory, so it presents no real source code (only pseudo-code) which I think is good thing since that would otherwise have polluted the clarity of the explanations.
Many of the topics it covers has been a help to me as a programmer. Can be recommended for anyone interested in computation geometry - but it requires some computer science maturity so I don't recommend it unless you have a bachelor's degree in C.S. or something similar.
Jacob Marner, M.Sc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, excellent theory, no code Aug. 4 2001
This book serves as a survey of computational geometry algorithms. The explanations are very readable. The authors have taken special care to prove algorithm correctness and time complexity bounds.
Although I have yet to actually implement one of the algorithms in the book directly, I was exposed to a number of general techniques which I have used, such as randomized techniques to eliminate pathological worst-case performance problems, and various space partitioning techniques.
The algorithms are all presented in pseudocode, unfortunately, which is the reason for only 4 out of 5 stars. Also, some important details are omitted which make a few of their algorithms practically useless (although they are interesting theoritically). For example, there is an algorithm for pathfinding and collision avoidance for a translating (but not ROTATING!) robot.
If you're lookin for a computational geometry bible, this isn't it. But there are certainly some gems in this book and it is a very interesting read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clear and concise June 26 2001
The book is well written and easy to understand. An ideal book for someone planning to apply computation geometry for real-life problems. This is not a definitive book for computational geometry, but does give you good examples and ideas. Could do with more references to figures. There is scope for expansion of this book to include more detailed case studies and more pseudo code examples
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lucid and Complete June 18 2001
Compared to other texts on Computational Geometry, like the Preparata / Shamos collection -- this book is simple to read; it's very well written.
I cannot understate the clarity of the book; if you try comparing this to other graduate texts on Computational Geometry -- this one blows them away.
I think it covers a broad range of topics and covers them well. It is a wealth of algorithms.
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