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Problems on Algorithms [Paperback]

Ian Parberry
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 8, 1995 0134335589 978-0134335582 1st
With approximately 600 problems and 35 worked examples, this supplement provides a collection of practical problems on the design, analysis and verification of algorithms. The book focuses on the important areas of algorithm design and analysis: background material; algorithm design techniques; advanced data structures and NP-completeness; and miscellaneous problems. Algorithms are expressed in Pascal-like pseudocode supported by figures, diagrams, hints, solutions, and comments.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Too often the problem sets in standard algorithm texts are composed of small, idiosyncratic units of busy-work and irrelevant questions -- forcing instructors into the time-consuming task of finding or composing additional problems. Designed to fill that gap, this supplement provides an extensive and varied collection of useful, practical problems on the design, analysis, and verification of algorithms.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (February 8, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0134335589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0134335582
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,865,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of fundamental computer science July 5, 2003
This is a terrific little book, which I recommend highly to students of computer science, but above all to those who teach computer science. While I could imagine teaching a short course based on this book alone, it would be an excellent supplement to a more thorough-going text. Better still, just keep this little book around for those times when you are searching for a good homework or exam problem. It's got hundreds of them.
On the down side, Parberry's discussions are so terse that students may get somewhat frustrated if it is their only source. Yet, there is much to be said for being concise! The author wastes nary a syllable before launching into the problems, which is how he managed to pack so much into a mere 167 pages. Don't be deceived by the thickness of this book; it may look like a mere pamphlet, but it contains 651 exercises, many of which have lengthy hints and good number of which are actually worked out in detail.
The book introduces a wide range of topics from very basic (mathematical induction) to somewhat sophisticated (NP-completeness). About half of the book focuses on mathematical prerequisites such as induction, inequalities, binomial coefficients, combinatorics, graphs, Big-Oh & Big Omega, and recurrence relations. The rest of the book covers topics such as graph algorithms, searching, greedy algorithms, dynamic programming, divide-and-conquer, backtracking, program correctness, and even a chapter on NP-completeness. The latter includes a terse description of both Cook reducibility and Karp (many-to-one) reducibility. This last chapter would be a bit too dense for someone unfamiliar with these concepts, but it's a nice review with copious exercises.
There are a few things I particularly like about the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great supplemental text for the study of algorithms January 31, 2006
This little book is a treasured member of my computer science book collection. It makes a great companion to "Introduction to Algorithms" by Thomas Cormen et al, and it is also a great refresher for students studying for the algorithms section of a computer science Ph.D qualifying examination.
The book starts with an introductory chapter which is followed by five chapters of background material on subjects that you should master before you set foot in an algorithms class. Those subjects are mathematical induction, Big-O and Big-Omega notation, recurrence relations, correctness proofs, and basic algorithm analysis. The next four chapters are organized by algorithm design technique: divide and conquer, dynamic programming, greedy algorithms, and exhaustive search. The book is rounded out with chapters on advanced data structures, NP-completeness, and a final chapter on miscellaneous subjects that do not fit into any other chapter.
The format of each chapter is just a little bit of instruction followed by lots of problems. Each problem is labeled as to level of difficulty and whether or not there is a hint or solution provided for it at the end of the chapter.
The ultimate purpose of this book is to assist you in understanding how to design and analyze algorithms in general via the solution of problems, not to provide you with every algorithmic technique under the sun. In that purpose I think that it succeeds brilliantly. Just remember that ultimately it is a book of problems. You should look elsewhere for the details of the theory. Highly recommended.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun December 7, 2002
This book is full of interesting problems on algorithms. I have solved several of the problems in this book and it was great fun. Just thinking about solving so of these problems is interesting. I spent several hours solving the problem that is on the cover, it required the use Concrete Mathematics (0201558025), so be prepared many if not most of the problems in this book are very hard.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book! March 31, 2000
It's a great book to use as reference or as a first reading but don't expect to get too deep into any of the main topics.
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