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Mastering Algorithms with C 1st Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 063-6920924531
ISBN-10: 1565924533
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Written with the intermediate to advanced C programmer in mind, Mastering Algorithms with C delivers a no-nonsense guide to the most common algorithms needed by real-world developers.

The highlight of the book has to be its concise and readable C functions for all the algorithms presented here, including basics like linked lists, stacks to trees, graphs, and sorting/searching algorithms. The C functions that implement these algorithms are clearly printed and remarkably easy to read. You can use this sample code directly or adapt it into your C/C++ code.

Although mathematical concepts like Big-O notation are discussed, the authors don't get bogged down in the computer science theory surrounding algorithms. Instead, they present the most tried-and-true algorithms available today in an efficient format. Besides introducing each algorithm, they describe how each is used in computing today, along with a short demo application. Some of these samples are quite low-level, such as a virtual memory manager implemented with linked lists. Most examples are more of general interest, such as a graphing example that counts network hops.

Each section ends with questions and answers about how the algorithms work, along with references to other algorithms (both in the book and from other sources). The authors concentrate on the most useful algorithms available today and don't try to cover every available variation. Busy readers will appreciate the intelligent selection--and efficient presentation--used here.

There are a number of books on C algorithms, but Master Algorithms with C is one of the most concise and immediately useful. It's a perfect choice for the working C/C++ programmer who's in a hurry to find just the right algorithm for writing real-world code. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Algorithm efficiency, pointer basics, arrays, recursion, Big-O Notation, linked lists, stacks, queues, sets, hash tables, trees and B-trees, searching, heaps and priority queues, graphs, sorting and searching algorithms, numerical methods, data compression, Huffman coding, LZ77, data encryption, DES, RSA, graph algorithms, minimum spanning trees, geometric algorithms, and convex hulls.

From Library Journal

Although older than some of the current languages, C still is one of the best general purpose programming languages around. Loudon's book discusses C pointers, recursion, data structures from lists and stacks to trees and graphs, sorting and searching, and encryption. This is not a beginner's manual but will work well for programmers wanting to refresh their C techniques and for those moving from another language to C.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mastering
  • Paperback: 562 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565924533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565924536
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mastering Algorithms in C is the most readable algorithms book I've ever encountered. Not only does the author have a tremendous command of English, he has a writing style that is simply a pleasure to read. The author also deserves mention as having one of the cleanest coding styles I've come across. Having taught and worked with computers for over 15 years, I've seen many. It is no easy feat to present the subject of algorithms using real C code in a consistently elegant manner. This book does it wonderfully. Another feature of the book that works exceptionally well is its detailed presentation of interesting (and I emphasize interesting) real-world examples of how various data structures and algorithms in the book are actually applied. I'm a computer science type, so I especially enjoyed the examples about virtual memory managers, lexical analyzers, and packet-switching over the Internet. But the book includes many other examples of more general interest. Students will find all of the examples particularly insightful. Although most of the code in the book does make use of many of the more advanced features of C, an inordinate number of comments have been included which should help even the feeblest of programmer carry on. In addition, there are two great chapters on pointers and recursion. Exceptional writing, elegant code, great examples, not to mention a lot of entertainment value -- O'Reilly has another winner here. I highly recommend it.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
C programming is still with us because of its high performance ability and this book outlines several algorithms using the language. It begins with a classification of algorithms as randomized, divide-and-conquer, dynamic programming, greedy and approximation. Some algorithms the author states defy classiification but he does not give examples. Pointers are discussed in the next chapter, and covers how to avoid dangling pointers, memory allocation, pointers to data structures, function parameters, double pointers, and generic and function pointers. The chapter is clearly written and diagrams are used frequently to illustrate the uses and properties of pointers. The author in particular gives an excellent explanation of how C can simulate call-by-reference parameter passing. This capability in C can be a source of trouble to the newcomer to C. The author does not however discuss triple pointers in this chapter, in spite of their great utility in computational geometry and computational radiology. Void pointers and casting are discussed in detail though, and the author does a good job. Only a cursory discussion of function pointers is given; I would have preferred many more examples to be given. Recursion and tail-recursion are discussed in Chapter 3, with the factorial function used to illustrate the differences. Computational complexity and the O-notation are covered in the next chapter, with the treatment pretty sparse but clear. Linked lists, extremely useful in all areas of engineering and science, are discussed effectively in Chapter 5. Eleven linked list macross, thirteen doubly linked list macros, and eight circular list macros are discussed and the complexity of each given. Virtual memory and paging are given as examples of applications of linked lists.Read more ›
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By B. S. Clewett on March 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Just what I needed. One of those books I had to ring in sick to work, sit at home and read.
Writing commercial c applications for the Internet, I was looking for a book to give me assistence with my coding. What I found was something which caused me to go back and rewrite a lot of my work!
Starting by explaining exactly how memory is managed when calling fuctions, going on to explain, in english, how many commonly used stuctures in c work. Everything from hash tables to encryption. A good read for anybody interested in how code works. Essential for anybody wishing to write quality programs.
The best bit. This comes with c libruaries uncompiled with examples, fully explained in the text. Many of which I have used. Reliable, easy to implement and dramatically increase the quality of my code. Want a easy to use binary search tree? A few minutes work and it's there.
I also emaild the author, who was more than happy to help with a question.
Personally speaking, one of the best computer books I have ever bought.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By SciFi Fan on January 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read a half-dozen or more books pertaining to C Algorithms, and most of them were the same. This touched on the usual stuff - sorting, hashing, linked lists, etc. But it touched on these subjects in ways that are so general purpose that the sample code can be used with little modification! It also adds a couple of new things such as Set algorithms and an explaination of how to pass functions as paramenters to functions.
There could have been a few more examples, and he could have explained some of his material in plain english, instead of engineerese.
Overall the book is excellent, and I will refer to it often.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Cris Luengo on June 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I hoped to find a broad overview of existing algorithms. Instead I got a small collection of over-commented code. It is true that this book contains some algorithms not discussed in similar books, but it also doesn't contain many algorithms that I consider a part of a programmer's standard toolbox. For example, there is no mention of string matching and searching. The author discusses an implementation of the LZ77 compression algorithm, but doesn't even give a hint as to the workings of related (better) algorithms. There is an implementation of the RSA public key encription, but no mention on how the private encription/public decription counterpart works. The discussion on hash tables only covers hash tables with linked lists, and not the easier to implement double hashing. And I could go on and on.
But the most annoying thing about the book is the author's commenting style, which render the code itself unreadable. Almost every instruction is commented by a 5-line high, 80-column wide comment block, exactly in the way that Rob Pike makes fun of in his "Notes on Programming in C" article, where he says: "Don't laugh now, wait until you see it in real life."
In short, I would only recommend this book to people wanting to learn some basic algorithms, but already have a strong sense of correct programming style.
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