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The Algorithm Design Manual Hardcover – Nov 14 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 1998. Corr. 2nd printing edition (Nov. 14 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387948600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387948607
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 18.4 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,095,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"...the book is an algorithm implementation treasure trove, and putting all of these implementations in one place was no small feat. The list of implementations, an extensive bibliography, and the CD-ROM make the book an invaluable resource for everyone interested in the subject." --ACM Computing Reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
This book fills a nice niche -- it is practical enough to be useful and accesible to professional programmers (rather than algorithms researchers or academics) but is build on solid theory as well.
Aside from this, the book has several features to recommend it:
(1) There are "war stories" scattered throughout the text. These are special sections that describe the author's experience working with algorithmic problems "in the field". These are particularly interesting because the present false starts and failures along the way to the final solution. This is a nice change from the standard model of simply presenting algorithms and proving them correct.
(2) Unlike others, such as the popular Cormen, Lieserson, Rivest and Stein text -- which is a bit advanced for beginning study -- this really is an introduction to algorithms. It is quite suitable for, say, undergradutes who have taken a couple of basic CS courses.
(3) Chapter 8 is a 250-page "Catalog of Algorithmic Problems". Here, you will find descriptions of hundreds of standard formulations for algorithmic problems along with the basic solution approaches, and -- this is what really sets it apart -- pointers to implementations of these algorithms. This is part of the overall emphasis of the book: that of understanding standard algorithms in order to avoid "reinventing the wheel".
Overall, I recommend this book for people with some programming experience that would like to take their work to the next level. Hardcore computer scientists (especially those with a more theoretical bent) may also benefit from this book, but should consider it a supplement to one of the more advanced texts, such as the above-mentioned CLRS.
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Format: Hardcover
In my line of work I am, many times, in need of some algorithm or resource to do some job. Sure I learned many during my B.Sc. studies, and during my work, but some are hard to remember, and some I never knew - and sometimes you just need to know how to call the problem in order to locate resources about it from the internet.
Well - this book solves it all!
One part contains "war stories", which I found very useful, and amusing - After reading them I felt like I learned many lessons.
The second part, which is the reason I bought this book at the first place, is a very impressive catalog of algorithms and problems - you just need to know something about the problem you need to solve, and most probably, your problem will be described here with clear definitions, and some suggested algorithms for solutions and with resources from other books/articles and web resources.
I tell you - so many times this book was the first and only stop in my persue of finding the algorithm I needed.
I'd recommend this book to anyone studying and working with algorithms. This is a must in your bookshelf - even more - it's a must on your table!
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Format: Hardcover
Apart from beeing really useful, this book has two more interesting characteristics: 1. it is very readable 2. it is very amusing/interesting at times. The book is very good if you are a beginner in the subject of computer algorithms, but note that it is not a stand-alone book. You also need a good algorithms textbook to cover the subject of algorithms. Skiena reviews some aspects of the algorithmic theory he regards especially useful/important and presents his interesting perspective, but some times he uses algorithms or techniques he has not presented. What makes this book great is the "War stories", where the author describes real problems and the process that led to the algorithm that solved the problems. Something like Bentley's magnificent book "Programming pearls" (get this one too!). And, of course, the categorized catalog of algorithmic problems, which comprises the bigest part of the book, is almost a guarantee that once you come across a real problem you will shortly know where to look for a solution. Moreover, that solution may already be coded, waiting for you in the CD that comes with the book (which also includes a one-semester lectures of the author in shockwave-audio format).
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good attempt at an algorithm design manual, but from my perspective (as a professor of mathematics working in combinatorics and combinatorial optimization) the writing is simply not precise enough. I'm not saying the book is too "chatty" or "informal". A technical book can be either or both while imparting its content in a clear and unambiguous fashion. I compliment the author on the idea for this book, which I think fills a gap and is at about the right level. However, if a second edition is printed (and I hope it will be), the author should read every (technical) sentence of his text and ask the question "Am I saying exactly what I mean to say?". Unfortunately, despite knowing more often than not what the author _intends_ to say, often I have trouble convincing myself that this is what is actually said.
That having been said: this is a good reference and provides a good "meta-overview" of the basics of algorithms. The Catalog of Algorithmic Problems is a particularly useful tool for quickly locating problems that might be similar to one under consideration and determining (as of 5 years ago, anyway) the approximate state of the art.
I recommend this book, but not unreservedly.
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