Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach

Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach

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 problem-solving abilities and understanding of the principles behind algorithm design.

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3 comments

  1. 58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    a *creative* approach, August 26, 2008
    By 
    Neil

    This review is from: Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach (Paperback)
    This book is much more than a catalog of algorithms (e.g., CLR): its purpose is to train your intuition to recognize mathematical structure in abstract problems. What does it matter if you know Dijkstra’s algorithm? It’s much more valuable to have good intuitions and a inductive reasoning tool chest with which to smash apart all of the variations of the shortest path problem (for example.)

    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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  2. 8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Great on algorithm design, not that good on analysis, April 24, 2005
    By 
    Guilherme D. Fonseca (MD, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach (Paperback)
    I like this book a lot. I think it’s a good reference and introductory text, maybe as a supplement. It’s much easier to read than Cormen’s, but not half as deep.

    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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  3. 9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A great supplement and right sized for travel too!, January 24, 2007
    By 
    Claude Keswani (Boston, MA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach (Paperback)
    I really like this book as a supplement to the algorithm bible (Introduction to Algorithms, Thomas Cormen et al). This book is tiny and portable yet every major algorithm is covered. Basics, like mathematical induction are reviewed and illustrated with relevant examples.

    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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