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Introduction to Algorithms (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) [Hardcover]

by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Introduction to Algorithms Introduction to Algorithms 4.2 out of 5 stars (135)
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Book Description

June 18, 1990 0262031418 978-0262031417 0
The first edition won the award for Best 1990 Professional and Scholarly Book in Computer Science and Data Processing by the Association of American Publishers. This edition is no longer available. Please see the Second Edition of this title.

Editorial Reviews Review

If you had to buy just one text on algorithms, Introduction to Algorithms is a magnificent choice. The book begins by considering the mathematical foundations of the analysis of algorithms and maintains this mathematical rigor throughout the work. The tools developed in these opening sections are then applied to sorting, data structures, graphs, and a variety of selected algorithms including computational geometry, string algorithms, parallel models of computation, fast Fourier transforms (FFTs), and more.

This book's strength lies in its encyclopedic range, clear exposition, and powerful analysis. Pseudo-code explanation of the algorithms coupled with proof of their accuracy makes this book is a great resource on the basic tools used to analyze the performance of algorithms.

About the Author

Thomas H. Cormen is Professor of Computer Science and former Director of the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric at Dartmouth College.

Charles E. Leiserson is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ronald L. Rivest is Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Product Details

  • Series: MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Hardcover: 1048 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (June 18, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262031418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262031417
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best textbook I have ever seen January 7, 2000
I was the instructor for a junior/senior course on Algorithms at the University of Southern California and I used this book as the textbook. Unfortunately, many of the students didn't like this book because they did not appreciate the mathematical flavor of the book. A course on Algorithms is useless without a sound background in discrete mathematics. Hence, this book assumes that you are reasonably strong in Discrete Mathematics.
I haven't seen a better textbook ! Here are some reasons:
1. The discrete mathematics foundations are present in the first few chapters of this book and so, you can quickly brush up on any discrete math background that you may require while using this book.
2. The style of writing is very light and at the same time, rigorous - almost as if you are in the middle of a lecture while reading the book.
3. The material is comprehensive and serves as an excellent reference for other courses and in your future career.
4. The exercises and problems provide a very good learning experience.
5. It's a good-looking book !
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Solid Introduction to Algorithms December 8, 2000
It's a good thing that this book has a hard cover (make sure you get the hard cover edition, huh?), because otherwise mine would be in pieces. This book is my favourite book on algorithms. All the others seem somewhat unsatisfactory to me -- they are tied to particular programming languages, they are paperback, and they are for the most part less comprehensive than this book. (except Knuth, which is somewhat more advanced). See the summary of the TOC below for an outline of what the book covers. I guess Sedgewicks new title has been getting better reviews, but it's still not hard cover (-;
This covers a lot of topics, and covers them in some level of mathematical rigor. For example, all assertions about algorithm efficiency are backed up with *proofs*, and key concepts like asymptotics, and big-O notation are covered. To those who think proofs are not essential -- as a mathematician, I'd counter that proofs are absolutely necessary, because you don't know something until you've proven it -- it's easy to make wrong "guesses", or even wrong hand-waving arguments. The examples are all in pseudo-code. Personally, I liked this as it makes implementing the data structures an interesting exercise that forces the reader to think.
The subject matter covered is quite broad, see below. There are some interesting topics that don't get covered (eg AVL trees), but this book does a good job at laying down the foundation.
Some might be intimidated by the theoretical approach, but I for one like it. It's written for computer scientists (or "software engineers"), not get-rich-quick wannabees. This book will force you to think, and if you don't like that, well you can (and should) buy "learn algorithms in 21 seconds" from SAMS or something.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rigorous coverage of the most widely used algorithms December 5, 1999
I personally bought this book in preparation for the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), and it helped me immensely in getting off the ground with the algorithms I had to learn, especially the chapter on Dynamic Programming. Since then, however it has remained a priceless companion during my studies and at home.
This is the definitive reference for algorithms with a firm theoretical and mathematical foundation. Algorithms are treated with a thorough theoretical introduction often with a complete mathematical walkthrough, a clearly thought out solution, a discussion of its pros and cons, lots of clear and consisive diagrams, a pseudocode implementation, and a good deal of serious optimisation discussion. It's written in an accessible manner, starting with the elementary issues, progressing to the advanced and complex thinking needed to conquer them, so you'll find you have to give it your full concentration.
This book will not disappoint. Its explanations are rigorous and its coverage spans all the general purpose algorithms with little focus on their applications but rather on the algorithms themselves. The book covers such major areas as sorting, data structures, advanced design and analysis techniques, graphs, each about a hundred pages on average, and a selection of specialised algorithms such as parallel programming, string matching and computational geometry. Because these algorithms are used everywhere, from games, graphics and simulations to electrical engineering it will have a broad audience and will find a home almost anywhere there is serious programming involved. Each chapter is a unit in itself which means you don't need to read it cover to cover, since they all start off smoothly and handhold you through. Clearly written by professionals, this is the book I know contains the information that I can't find elsewhere.
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67 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete, thorough... August 3, 1999
By A Customer
Quote from a previous review:
Instead of touching on new technologies, such as AI, graphics, or anything else remotely relevant to today's demands on programmers and designers, this book, faithful to its MIT roots, gives a pompous, eggheaded distortion to the field of computers as a whole. Its focus is mainly on such trivialities as algorithm analysis, offering about 10 pages of proofs for each simple assertion. The points that the authors hope to make have no relevance whatsoever in a world in which processor power, not meticulous code optimization, reigns.
I've had Cormen (one of the authors) as a professor in class, and my algorithms class uses this book, so admittedly my view might be a bit biased. But if you read the above (quoted) review, you might have gotten the wrong impression about this book. Cormen et. al. *intentionally* left "AI and graphics" algorithms to other authors; this isn't the place to cover those topics enough to do them justice. And as someone who has actually read the book, each proof is *not* 10 pages long. The examples are usually quite good, and concisely (if thoroughly explained). Finally, prof. Cormen always explains to his intro CS students why the study of algorithms is important, even as computers get faster and faster: some problems, poorly implemented, just *will not* run as well on a machine of today compared to a much older machine running a better algorithm. There will *always* be a justified place for the study and analysis of algorithms. Had the previous reviewer actually had met Prof. Cormen, he wouldn't be able to write the book off with the title of "pompous" or "eggheaded" either...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Although this is an used book, it's nearly a new one.
For the book itself, it's a classic book about data structure and algorithm -- a must for Computer Science students! Read more
Published on November 26, 2010 by FishDotNet
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This book is must have for any software programmer. It is one of the best book I had ever had. It has many mathematical concepts and ppl who are mathematical geeks with software... Read more
Published on April 24, 2008 by Senthil
4.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Masterpiece (but NOT for the faint of heart)
Introduction to Algorithms is, without a doubt, a "must have" for any student going into the fields of computer science, mathematics, or engineering. Read more
Published on August 24, 2002 by Kris Tremblay
1.0 out of 5 stars A student's perspective -- this book is horrible
I don't know who is paying the other critics to give this book a high rating but this book has a lot of problems. Read more
Published on November 8, 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution: Great book but there is a new edition
Please note that this is a great book, but that the second edition is being published; it was scheduled for September, 2001.
... seems to be selling both editions. Read more
Published on October 3, 2001 by David N. Smith
2.0 out of 5 stars review
I hate this book! It is sooo hard to understand it. Even the simple concepts are described so bad that i hate opening it. Read more
Published on September 28, 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Algorithms Book
I only recommend this book to intelligent people with good math skills that actually code difficult algorithms. Read more
Published on September 5, 2001 by David R. Kent
5.0 out of 5 stars Wait a little - 2nd edition out in September 2001 !!
While this is the undisputed leader in the field and worth every penny you spend on it, the second edition is due in September 2001 - check out the book's website They mention... Read more
Published on August 23, 2001 by Optimistix
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing book
This is the best CS book I have ever read. It is concise. Each paragraph of this book equals several paragraphs in other books. Read more
Published on August 10, 2001 by J.S. Bach fan
5.0 out of 5 stars The best 'single volume' on Algorithms
One sure sign of a book's poularity is it being referred to by an abbreviation or a nickname. This book is known as 'CLR', so that tells you something. Read more
Published on August 5, 2001 by Optimistix
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