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The Algorithm Design Manual Hardcover – Import, 14 Nov 2011

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From the reviews of the second edition:

“This is 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.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 119 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars High hopes but a little disappointed 8 October 2015
By BH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book given the reviews here. I bought this book brush up on my existing knowledge and learn new things and was very excited to receive it. There are some interesting points and I liked that it has a section on heuristics. It introduced me to the idea of simulated annealing, which I am using for a problem at work now actually, but like most things in the book I had to turn to the internet for a better explanation. The book is a bit wordy and hard to read at times.

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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for computer science students/professionals 2 November 2015
By Harman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best book on algorithms, it keeps you engaged.
The chapters neatly describes practical use case of the various algorithms before diving into the actual algorithm. Authors view of Heuristic methods seems to me a bit odd. War Story are a nice addition to the book. I would recommend trying to solve the war story yourself before reading how author was able to solve it.

The real treasure is the catalog of algorithms. Again, in each of these individual algorithm problem, emphasis is on practical use case. Although, no algorithm in the catalog is described in detail, it gives pointer to many resources where you can look at for the details of the algorithm.
This book can very much work as a reference book for algorithms.
It also has nice recommendations for book on specific set of algorithms.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and applicable text on algorithms 15 April 2014
By Scott T. Ruhnau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
+Excellent coverage of the material
+Great writing style
+Lots of sample code
+Lots of practice problems
+Real world examples of how algorithms are useful as a dev

-The C sample code was often hard to read as it appeared to be written for compactness
-The licensing around the code samples was unclear

I can't overstate the value of the real life examples, "war stories" in the text, and the sample code. The other texts I've been exposed to often skipped working examples and stuck firmly to theory with little to no application. The writing style was probably the best I've read in a textbook.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic reference 22 August 2016
By Steven D Lively - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're interviewing for a programming position at Google, this is the book you want.

Ask me how I know. :)

This book has almost anything you ever wanted to know about data structures It's pretty easy to read with great explanations and fairly clear code. (Much clearer than any other programming book I've used.)

This and Real Time Rendering (https://www.amazon.com/Real-Time-Rendering-Third-Tomas-Akenine-Moller/dp/1568814240) are the most oft-used books on my shelf.
3.0 out of 5 stars It's not a great one to start off with 25 September 2016
By Ron V - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's not a great one to start off with, especially if you never did an algorithms class in college. I'd say it's a decent second book, as it has enough complexity, but it has a somewhat readable style. You can tell the author really tried to make the material approachable, but it's nowhere near as beginner friendly as the amazing book "Grokking Algorithms", that one is a true beginners book. This is a decent second one.