Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach
This book emphasizes the creative aspects of algorithm design by examining steps used in the process of algorithms development. The heart of this creative process lies in an analogy between proving mathematical theorems by induction and designing combinatorial algorithms. The book contains hundreds of problems and examples. It is designed to enhance the reader’s problemsolving abilities and understanding of the principles behind algorithm design.
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a *creative* approach,
The reviewers who wrote that the book “assumes you are a math wiz” and that it provides “little or no guidance for solving an arbitrary problem of the same type” didn’t get it. This book is trying very hard to make you into a wiz by forcing you to really interact with mathematics, rather than working through a set of nearly identical problems (–what passes for “education” in North America.)
I was just going to leave my review at that, but since the reviews that people find “helpful” are so way off base, I think I should throw in a relevant story.
When my friend was in grade 11, he showed up to the Canadian Computing Competition finals, placing 14th. The guy who won told him, “if you want to win, read this book.” Two years later, he won the CCC against 2000 other students. This book is the best introduction you can give a budding mathematician.
Sure, you can cough up what you’ve memorized from CLR during your university algorithms course. But, do you want to learn to invent algorithms yourself?
Math is not something handed down generations in big, dry textbooks. Like all knowledge, math is organically discovered Truth, and you have learn to discover it for yourself.
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Great on algorithm design, not that good on analysis,
Pros:
– Easy to read. You can understand an algorithm much faster if you go to this book first.
– Good examples and pictures.
– Explain the ideas that lead to efficient algorithmic designs.
Cons:
– Doesn’t go into enough details about the proofs of correctness and complexity.
– The approach is different than most books and may take some time to get used to.
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A great supplement and right sized for travel too!,
One of the ways that Udi Manber packs so much information into such a small package is by keeping verbosity to a minimum. In his proofs, only the most complicated steps are justified or explained. As a result the reader may find herself spending time justifying steps in the proofs that are unrelated to the problem at hand. I did not mind doing this; others may. Regardless, the persistent reader will find that within the pages of this book lies all of the information required to understand all of the algorithms covered (and of course, it never hurts to keep a notebook, pencil and several erasers handy).
I would not recommend this book as a reference; rather, it provides a refreshingly new perspective on algorithms that may seem old and dusty. I’ve spent more time and energy per page on this book than any other CS book I’ve had but the ROI has been well worth the effort.
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