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# Essential Algorithms: A Practical Approach to Computer Algorithms

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**A friendly and accessible introduction to the most useful algorithms**

Computer algorithms are the basic recipes for programming. Professional programmers need to know how to use algorithms to solve difficult programming problems. Written in simple, intuitive English, this book describes how and when to use the most practical classic algorithms, and even how to create new alg ...more

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Paperback, 301 pages

Published
August 12th 2013
by Wiley
(first published January 1st 2013)

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book (with a personal signed inscription too :)) directly from Rod with the condition that I review the book. This has not influenced my review except that I have tried to do a decent job rather than just picking a star and saying I liked it.

**Quick Overview**

The book has quite a few chapters covering a pretty good selection of algorithms, including

* Numerical Algorithms

* Linked Lists ...more

- Introduces a good variety of algorithms (Numeric, Probabilistic, Graphical, Network, etc.)

- Has a chapter dedicated to Computational Complexity Theory that explains complexity classes (DTIME, P, EXPTIME, NP, ...)

- Easy to read

- Has solutions to exercises

Cons:

- Atrocious pseudo-code language based on Visual Basic

- Non-standard terminology ("cell" instead of "node", "expected" instead of "average", "multi-threading" meaning multiple links between nodes in a linked list, etc.)

- Irrelevant ch ...more

If you need to freshen up your algorithm knowledge or even learn the basics for the first time, I can recommend this book.

...more

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“To get the most out of an algorithm, you must be able to do more than simply follow its steps. You need to understand the following: The algorithm's behavior. Does it find the best possible solution, or does it just find a good solution? Could there be multiple best solutions? Is there a reason to pick one “best” solution over the others? The algorithm's speed. Is it fast? Slow? Is it usually fast but sometimes slow for certain inputs? The algorithm's memory requirements. How much memory will the algorithm need? Is this a reasonable amount? Does the algorithm require billions of terabytes more memory than a computer could possibly have (at least today)? The main techniques the algorithm uses. Can you reuse those techniques to solve similar problems?”
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