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Introduction to Algorithms: A Creative Approach Paperback – January 11, 1989

ISBN-13: 978-0201120370 ISBN-10: 0201120372 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book emphasizes the creative aspects of algorithm design by examining steps used in the process of algorithm development. The heart of the 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 478 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1 edition (January 11, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201120372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201120370
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Neil on August 26, 2008
Format: 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Guilherme D. Fonseca on April 24, 2005
Format: 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Claude Keswani on January 24, 2007
Format: 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Komtanoo Pinpimai on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wonder why this book is not as popular as it should be. Although the CLR is the mandatory book of most introduction to algorithm classes, it does not say much of how they came up with those algorithms which is the role of this book. The unique interesting thing is it uses induction to explain how each algorithm was developed, however I guess it's not the primary objective of the author. He wanted readers to read the description of the problems that those algorithms try to solve, and learn to apply induction to solve them on their own. If you like solving puzzle, you will love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you want to learn Algorithms, you should read CLRS introduction to Algorithms.
But if you want to learn how to design algorithms yourself then the book you need to read is this one by Udi Manber.
The approach taken by the writer is unique and to my opinion better than any other Algorithm's books I've seen.
The writer tries to teach the reader how to design algorithms through the usage of mathematical induction - hence the words "A creative approach".
I find this book to be so good, that even though I've read most of the chapters already I keep coming back to it.
This is a must read for anyone who aspires to be a computer scientist.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Vinhthuy Phan on July 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Most books I have read on the subject seem to be simply a collection of algorithmic tricks and techniques. There's no single universal idea, except for this book by Udi Manber. The cover picture says it all. In my opinion, the most fundamental and universal concept in algorithmic design is the idea of induction, recursion, and building bigger desired solutions from smaller already-constructed ones. The experts establish this as their intuition and perhaps take it for granted. But as a beginning algorist, when you have to ask yourself how do I solve/optimize/approximate this problem, I think you'll find this idea so important. This book attempts to make this concept your algorithmic intuition, and that's I think is a good thing.
That said, it should be read along with other books in algorithms design and analysis.
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