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Java Collections: An Introduction to Abstract Data Types, Data Structures and Algorithms (Computer Science) Paperback – 9 Feb 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 566 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (9 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047189978X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471899785
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 3.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"A lovely book.... I will use this book a lot in the next few months on a Java project I′m just starting." (CVu, December 2001)

From the Back Cover

Java Collections is an introductory text on abstract data types, data structures, and algorithms using Java. Written at an appropriate level for a first course in algorithms and data structures, or a second course in programming using Java, this text concentrates on pratical matters like software design and the Jave Collections framework. Only essential supporting theory is included. The text focuses on abstract data types (ADTs) that turn up again and again in software design. It uses these ADTs to introduce and motivate the data structures required to implement them and the algorithms associated with the data structures. This approach helps Java programmers to choose the most suitable collection classes for their applications. Not only undergraduate students but also professional programmers retraining the program in Java will benefit form this even–paced and example–led text. Key features of the text: ∗ emphasizes good object–oriented software design and implementation ∗ presents algorithms both in English and in Java, and shows how to analyze their efficiency (with only light mathematics) ∗ introduces the concept of an abstract data type, shows how to use a "contract" to specify the abstract data type′s contract and its implementation in terms of a suitbale data structure and algorithms ∗ covers a variety of abstract data types (stacks, queues, lists, sets, maps, priority queues, trees, and graphs), compares alternative implementations of these abstract types, and relates them to the Java collection classes ∗ features numerous examples and case studies showing how the abstract data types are used in practical applciaitons ∗ contains numerous graded exercises, offering opportunities to explore alternatives to the designs and implementations presented in the text ∗ includes appendices summarizing the mathematics of algorithm analysis, the relevant features of the Java programming language, and the Java collection classes.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Gareth Oates on 3 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
This book has been invaluable to me since the day I bought it. Not only during university in order to pass the Module, but also in my working career for the past 7 years. It's amazing how many times in actual working life you find yourself in situations where you need to be more efficient at sorting or searching a collection of data items.

This book comes complete with not only the mathematical explanations around why each data structure can be searched/sorted more efficiently using a particular type of algorithm, but also with code snippets showing you how to implement the data structure in Java.

Of course this can easily be applied to other languages.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The on 4 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
As well as agreeing with the previous reviews, I feel it is also worth noting that should one try and use a lot of the code from the companion website (which the book frequently ponts to) they will encounter several bugs. I've been using his code for an Adjacency set graph and I have spent days trying to find small bugs that just should not have been there.
Very frustrating.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gortalath VINE VOICE on 22 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Data structures and algorithms is a complex subject, but this book doesn't really help in clearing up the understanding, particularly to students like myself. At the start of our Java module we were told to get this book, which was out of print. I can now see why it was.
The language of any subject in the book is dressed up to the eyeballs with formal language which makes even simple statements appear complex and requiring lots of thought.
For example. "A string is a sequence of characters. The characters of a string have consecutive indicies." Now I know what a string it, it simply can be thought of as a sentence, it isn't difficult. But imagine you are someone who is approaching the subject with no priot knowledge, you would have to think hard about what the book is saying before you get it.
With other subjects in the book, like time complexity, a lot of assumptions are made about the readers knowledge, particularly in the mathematical field. If you don't know what the, "Fastest Growing Term" is, or the, "Constant Factor" you're stuck! Another example is on power algorithms. The books states, "It is easy to see that b to the power of 20 = b to the power of 10 + b to the power of 10." But is it easy? I certainly don't like things like this being assumed. If I think about it, it does make sense, but it isn't obvious.
Basically, as a student, this book wasn't really suitable for me or my fellow students.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Does not reinvent the wheel 26 Nov. 2002
By David Matuszek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been teaching data structures and algorithms for over 25 years,
and the fundamentals--which every computer science student should
know--haven't changed very much. However, it doesn't follow that
everyone needs to write their own linked lists or hash tables from
scratch, when Java already supplies so much of that. I have looked for
a textbook that balances explanation of the basics with exploration of
the Java Collections Interface, and this is by far the best book to date.
(The similarly-named book by Zukowski has too many errors of fact
in it for my taste.)
Another reviewer said that this book does not cover the Java Collections
API. This is incorrect. The authors develop the ideas behind each data
structure as a suitably abstract data type, and then go on with "...and
here's how the Java Collections API does it." I think the previous
reviewer simply didn't read far enough to get to those parts.
For a tutorial on just the Java Collections API, Sun's online "Trail" is
the best single source, and has the advantage that it is not intermixed
with implementation details. If that were enough, no data structures
textbook would be necessary. However, in real problems, any
predefined generic data structure is likely to be inadequate and will
need to be extended; this is why a good programmer needs to know
the Collections API (so as to avoid reinventing the wheel), but in
addition a good computer scientist needs to know how these data
structures are implemented, so that he/she can go beyond them when
The book is somewhat weak on algorithms and would not serve as a
reference on this topic; however, there is plenty of meat here for a first
course on data structures and algorithms.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Interesting approach to ADTs 19 Nov. 2001
By Antonio A. Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been reading through a copy of this book, and comparing it to another notable book on the same subject, mainly "Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis in Java" (DSAAJ) by Mark Allen Weiss. Something very noticeable is that Java Collections is a much simpler book to tackle, though I feel that this detracts slightly from its use as a textbook. As a PhD student in Computer Science, I prefer the mathematical detail I found in DSAAJ than the lesser amount of math that Watt and Brown provide in Java Collections. Yet, at the same time, the case studies in Java Collections are a tremendous help in understanding what a given ADT is useful for, which DSAAJ doesn't go into at all. And the detail on what a specific ADT is supposed to do is much better detailed in Java Collections than in DSAAJ. As a TA, I taught a course in Data Structures and Algorithms for Computer Engineering students. The textbook we used for that was Weiss' DSAA book directed towards C++ instead of Java, but for those who know both versions of the book, the two are very similar. If instead of C++ the course was oriented towards Java, I would have chosen this book as a textbook for that course; these students weren't needing the math focus, and they (and I) would have preferred the practical programming knowledge in here.
For the programmer out of college, or the college student that wants an alternate view on ADTs than what DSAAJ provides, this is an excellent book.
Member of the Columbia Java User Group ([...]
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very good book for CS1 and CS2..... 2 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best books out there for Java Algorithms and Data-Structures. It helped me a lot through CS180 (Purdue University). Very easy to understand definitions and code give you the essence of the topic.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I only tolerate tutorial books that are clear 9 Sept. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When you're a beginner, and obviously one usually is when reading this type of material, you can't afford to waste time and energy reading 3 or 4 books to compensate for their flaws. You want one solid one that can quickly get you up to speed without tripping you up. I found the writing style to be awkward and perhaps it is the more formal British writing style. The material seems to be comprehensive but unfortunately the explanations are too brief. I found that I understood some stuff only because I have read other OOP and algorithm texts, and for a newbie without that background this book would be rather confusing. I might give it 3 stars but someone gave it 5 so I want to even it out immediately.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very misleading title 13 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you step into the Java universe bubble, then "Java Collections" means the standard core API with the same name. This book does not cover the standard classes and interfaces that form the Java Collections API, and this is a real shame. I don't like books that feature highly misleading titles, because it hints at a lack of accuracy of the book's content.
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