The Algorithm Design Manual 2nd ed. 2008 Edition
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From the reviews of the second edition:
“This is a detailed and timeless book that I keep reaching for. A useful book that I can not keep access to long enough. It is a important book to have in your library. Unlike other algorithm books that I have the algorithms are written independent of any programming language.” (Mary Anne, Cats and Dogs with Data, maryannedata.com, April, 2014)
“The Algorithm Design Manual by Steven Skiena is aimed at two groups of people: students and professionals. … It is written in an informal style that I found pleasant and engaging. … The book’s unique structure makes it more likely to be immediately useful to the practitioner who has problem to solve and wants to quickly make progress. The book succeeds admirably. Would be helpful to the student who has never seen this material before. Overall, I recommend this book warmly.” (Neelakantan Kartha, The Book Review Column, 2011)
“Algorithms are the very heart of computing. This book is about right for most people. Each of the topics is treated in a readable informal style with lots of asides and accounts of personal experiences - ‘war stories’ in implementing algorithms. If you want to use it as a course textbook then there are lots of exercises at the end of every chapter. Highly recommended.” (Mike James, I Programmer, September, 2009)
"Addressing the main difficulties of solving problems, this book goes far beyond the design of algorithms. It is essential for scientists, engineers, and any professionals who aim to solve problems, with a noticeable emphasis on real problems. It will not only serve as a valuable undergraduate textbook, but it will also become an irreplaceable reference guide for most professionals in the area." (Carlos Linares Lopez, Computing Reviews, February, 2009)
"Skiena focuses on the practical aspects of algorithm design and use. This work fills an important gap in the knowledge of CS practitioners and students. This book is suitable as a text for an undergraduate algorithms class, but also as an invaluable reference for the practicing programmer. This second edition has updated the bibliography to include recent works, making it an extensive bibliography. The index is also thorough and very useful for finding specific problems." (William Fahle, ACM Computing Reviews, December, 2008)
"For a decade, Steven Skiena’s Algorithm Design Manual retained its title as the best and most comprehensive practical algorithm guide to help identify and solve problems. It is now available in an improved second edition that is worth buying simply for the updates. Every programmer should read this book, and anyone working in the field should keep it close to hand. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. This is the best investment a programmer or aspiring programmer can make." (Harold Thimbleby, Times Higher Education, November, 2008)
"My absolute favorite for this kind of interview preparation is Steven Skiena’s The Algorithm Design Manual. More than any other book it helped me understand just how astonishingly commonplace … graph problems are -- they should be part of every working programmer’s toolkit. The book also covers basic data structures and sorting algorithms, which is a nice bonus. Every 1 – pager has a simple picture, making it easy to remember. This is a great way to learn how to identify hundreds of problem types." (Steve Yegge, Steve Yegge’s Blog, March, 2008)
" The book is an algorithm implementation treasure trove, and putting all of these implementations in one place was no small feat. The list of implementations, an extensive bibliography make the book an invaluable resource for everyone interested in the subject." (ACM Computing Reviews)
From the Back Cover
....The most comprehensive guide to designing practical and efficient algorithms!....
The Algorithm Design Manual, Second Edition
"...the book is an algorithm-implementation treasure trove, and putting all of these implementations in one place was no small feat. The list of implementations [and] extensive bibliography make the book an invaluable resource for everyone interested in the subject." --ACM Computing Reviews
"It has all the right ingredients: rich contents, friendly, personal language, subtle humor, the right references, and a plethora of pointers to resources." -- P. Takis Metaxas, Wellesley College
"This is the most approachable book on algorithms I have." -- Megan Squire, Elon University, USA
This newly expanded and updated second edition of the best-selling classic continues to take the "mystery" out of designing algorithms, and analyzing their efficacy and efficiency. Expanding on the first edition, the book now serves as the primary textbook of choice for algorithm design courses while maintaining its status as the premier practical reference guide to algorithms for programmers, researchers, and students.
The reader-friendly Algorithm Design Manual provides straightforward access to combinatorial algorithms technology, stressing design over analysis. The first part, Techniques, provides accessible instruction on methods for designing and analyzing computer algorithms. The second part, Resources, is intended for browsing and reference, and comprises the catalog of algorithmic resources, implementations and an extensive bibliography.
NEW to the second edition:
• Doubles the tutorial material and exercises over the first edition
• Provides full online support for lecturers, and a completely updated and improved website component with lecture slides, audio and video
• Contains a unique catalog identifying the 75 algorithmic problems that arise most often in practice, leading the reader down the right path to solve them
• Includes several NEW "war stories" relating experiences from real-world applications
• Provides up-to-date links leading to the very best algorithm implementations available in C, C++, and Java
ADDITIONAL Learning Tools:
• Exercises include "job interview problems" from major software companies
• Highlighted take-home lesson boxes emphasize essential concepts
• Provides comprehensive references to both survey articles and the primary literature
• Exercises point to relevant programming contest challenge problems
• Many algorithms presented with actual code (written in C) as well as pseudo-code
• A full set of lecture slides and additional material available at www.algorist.com
Written by a well-known algorithms researcher who received the IEEE Computer Science and Engineering Teaching Award, this new edition of The Algorithm Design Manual is an essential learning tool for students needing a solid grounding in algorithms, as well as a special text/reference for professionals who need an authoritative and insightful guide. Professor Skiena is also author of the popular Springer text, Programming Challenges: The Programming Contest Training Manual.
- Publisher : Springer; 2nd ed. 2008 edition (October 13, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 748 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1849967202
- ISBN-13 : 978-1849967204
- Item Weight : 2.86 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.01 x 1.69 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #169,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The other major gripe I had is with the code examples. Most variables and method parameters are named a, k, c .. etc. For instance here is a method header in the backtracking section: construct_candidates(int a, int k, int n, int c, int *ncandidates)
This makes the code very hard to read and follow as well when you are a lines deep in a method trying to figure out what
k[i] - c + a is. It has been my experience that most math/engineer types and professors tend to write code this way vs giving things descriptive names so the code is easily understandable. The book would be 10X more valuable had the code samples been clearer. I ended up sending it back.
The contents of the book is great BTW. However I'd recommend buying direct from publisher.
By Sean Lawrence on July 15, 2017
The contents of the book is great BTW. However I'd recommend buying direct from publisher.
As others have noted, the spine is very weak, and fell apart rather easily. The publisher noted that it was printed on acid-free paper but failed to note it was bound with sticky-free glue.
My one complaint is the odd tone that emerges from a lot of the "war stories," where the author often positions himself as the all-knowing and seasoned teacher and consultant, tasked with addressing the foolish mistakes of his business partners and graduate students. It's probably an accident (he's just reporting the facts from his own life), but there are some unhelpful tropes that creep into these stories, like the foolish female student and the Asian students who all seem to look alike.
Overall, I didn't hate the book. I haven't read any of its competitors, so I can't speak to its global merits. I would recommend it, but not so strongly that I would discourage you from look at the other options and deciding what makes sense for you.
If you are looking for algorithms with real, working implementations, it might be worthwhile to check out "Algorithms with Implementation in C: a Quantitative Approach."
Personally, I really like Mr. Skiena's writing style and his presentation is clear. It's not as dry as Sedgwick. This has now become my favorite book on algorithms.
ALSO: perhaps most importantly, if you are a recent graduate of a computer science program and you are trying to get a job in the field, this is the FIRST book I would recommend to review algorithms and data structures. DO NOT EVEN BOTHER to pick up CLRS (unless specifically directed to do otherwise), as more than likely the questions you will get during the interview will be some variation of the problems that you will encounter in here. I had at least one interview in which all of the problems were derivatives of those mentioned in here; unfortunately I had not yet found this book and so I was rather poorly prepared. When I first picked this up a few months later, I immediately recognized it's value and the fact that this was the only resource I had needed all along.
Top reviews from other countries
However, this book provides an excellent catalog of algorithms, very handy if you need to revisit topics you have forgotten (or read about things you may have missed). It's indeed helpful if you prepare for a tough interview.
Beware of bugs in the code though. It's best to implement each solution yourself anyway.
The text is very accessible to read and the pictures help to visualise and understand what's going on.
My main objection to it is that it strives to be a popular book when in fact the subject is highly technical - no matter how you try to slice it.
Another category of books give you a basic understanding of subject. This book is that kind. It helps you understand why algorithms work the way they do. One thing, which I like in the book is, the book describes the way the author sees the world, and author never shies from telling how he was wrong at a point, and how quickly he mended his ways.
Algorithms are like mathematics. It does not matter how many questions you solve, you can still go wrong at places. You still have things to learn. Algorithms are no different. It is ok to write wrong or sub-optimal algorithms. It is ok to do mistakes. It is always laudable to correct your course and understand why two seemingly similar things are inherently different. This usually adds to the insight about life. This adds depth instead of horizon, the latter can be added later.