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Combinatorial Optimization: Algorithms and Complexity (Dover Books on Computer Science) Paperback – 1 Feb 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (1 Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486402584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486402581
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lennart on 24 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
I'm only in the second chapter, but so far I have found this book very unpleasant to read. The book claims to be written for "mathematically sophisticated" students, but the definitions and proofs are often carelessly written regarding mathematical correctness. In every definition you have to guess what they mean with the undefined variables, and there is little further explanation if you didn't get it. It is not a very difficult subject, but the way it is presented here makes it impossible to grasp.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jun. 1998
Format: Paperback
Every programmer should have read this book. It is complete, detailed and makes a great reference for the engineer's bookshelf. It goes beyong the enumeration of cookie-cutter algorithms , by providing enough theory, to let you create solutions to your own optimization problems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam Gnourie on 19 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for uni and it is generally quite good although very complex and in depth. I found it quite hard to read over all and there is a lot of complicated maths involved, buy as I said it was quite helpful for the course.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Avvinti on 11 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
One could buy this book for different reasons: interests in combinatorial optimization, of course; interests in what Papadimitriou has to say, since his thoughts on this subject are definitely invaluable; perhaps the price is a good reason alone.
Whatever the reason, however, I think that would be a rare event to remain duped.
I was preparing my exam in Computability and Complexity when I first used it. I've been wonderfully surprised by the amount of definitions, algorithms, concepts I've found in this book. I think one could use this book for a simple course on Algorithms, on Computability and/or Complexity, on the whole Combinatorial Optimization, and the book would be always and costantly useful.
The chapters on algorithms and complexity, or those on NP completeness have proved to be gems. The chapters on Approximation and Local Search are great, and they feature a bunch of detailed and excellent quality stuff (e.g. there is a detailed treatment of Christofides' algorithm to approximate the TSP, that is quite an idiosyncratic topic).
All in all, a very great book, with a value exponentially greater than the very insignificant price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Inexpensive, excellently written, and quite interesting! 14 Nov. 2002
By Todd Ebert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had this book on my shelf for two years before taking a serious look at it, and only wish I had read it much earlier in life. Christos Papadimitriou has written quite a gem! On one hand this book serves as a good introduction to combinatorial optimization algorithms, in that it provides a flawless introduction to the simplex algorithm, linear and integer programming, and search techniques such as Branch-and-Bound and dynamic programming. On another, it serves as a good reference for many graph-theoretic algorithms. But most importantly Papadimitriou and Steiglitz seem to be on a quest to understand why some problems, such as Minimum Path or Matching, have efficient solutions, while others, such as Traveling Salesman, do not. And in doing so they end up providing the reader with a big picture behind algorithms and complexity, and the connection between optimization problems and complexity.
After reading this and Papadimitriou's "Introduction to Computational Complexity" (which I also highly recommend), I now consider him one of the best at conveying complex ideas in a way that rarely confuses the reader. I also had the priviledge of attending one of his talks on complexity, and he seems just as effusive and transparent as a lecturer as he does a writer. Ah, for once I bought a Dover book that did not disappoint.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A classic 7 May 1999
By SeanFurl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is just a note to mention that athough Amazon has dated this book as published in 1998, it is actually around 15 years old. By the way, it's a good book, but I didn't find it an easy read, especially the first half. One needs to already have a foundation in linear programming and optimization to digest it. A previous reviewer who said that every programmer should read it was being unduly exuberant, presumably because it happened to hit his particular spot. Most programmers don't need combinatorial optimization and for those who do there are some good alternative books.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Masterpiece on Combinatorial Optimisation 30 Nov. 1999
By KARTIK KRISHNAN S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Christos Papadimitriou, my hero is a hope for all of us who wish to master the fascinating field of Combinatorial Optimisation. Especially recommended are the chapters on matching, NP Completeness and Approximation Algorithms.
As another reader has remarked, this book is quite old though (published first in 1982). For a more to date book on Combinatorial Optimisation, one might want to look at Cook, Cunningham, Pulleyblank and Schrijver's book on Combinatorial Optimisation (published in 1998).
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
It worths exponentially much more than its price 21 Jun. 2002
By G. Avvinti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One could buy this book for different reasons: interests in combinatorial optimization, of course; interests in what Papadimitriou has to say, since his thoughts on this subject are definitely invaluable; perhaps the price is a good reason alone.
Whatever the reason, however, I think that would be a rare event to remain duped.
I was preparing my exam in Computability and Complexity when I first used it. I've been wonderfully surprised by the amount of definitions, algorithms, concepts I've found in this book. I think one could use this book for a simple course on Algorithms, on Computability and/or Complexity, on the whole Combinatorial Optimization, and the book would be always and costantly useful.
The chapters on algorithms and complexity, or those on NP completeness have proved to be gems. The chapters on Approximation and Local Search are great, and they feature a bunch of detailed and excellent quality stuff (e.g. there is a detailed treatment of Christofides' algorithm to approximate the TSP, that is quite an idiosyncratic topic).
All in all, a very great book, with a value exponentially greater than the very insignificant price.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
a great bargain 17 April 2006
By J. Ye - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is my favorite book on combinatorial optimization. The last 5 chapters 15-19 are the most interesting and useful to me because my job is write heuristics for NP hard problems in transportation. Chatpers 15 and 16 on NP complete problems are well explained and covered in depth. Chapter 17 on approximation algorithms is easy to understand and fun to read. Chapters 18 (branch-and-bound and dynamic programming) and 19 (local search) are very practical stuff, which I read many times.

The rest of the book is a good reference for topics like linear programming, max-flow, matching, etc. There are mostly independent of the last 5 chapters and can be skipped on a first read. My experience is that I don't need detailed knowledge of simplex algorithms because I use CPlex.
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