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The Art of Computer Programming: Sorting and Searching Vol. 3: Sorting and Searching v. 3 Hardcover – 24 Apr 1998

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 2 edition (24 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201896850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201896855
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 5.3 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 934,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The bible of all fundamental algorithms and the work that taught many of today's software developers most of what they know about computer programming.

Byte, September 1995

I can't begin to tell you how many pleasurable hours of study and recreation they have afforded me! I have pored over them in cars, restaurants, at work, at home... and even at a Little League game when my son wasn't in the line-up.

―Charles Long

If you think you're a really good programmer... read [Knuth's] Art of Computer Programming... You should definitely send me a resume if you can read the whole thing.

―Bill Gates

It's always a pleasure when a problem is hard enough that you have to get the Knuths off the shelf. I find that merely opening one has a very useful terrorizing effect on computers.

―Jonathan Laventhol

The first revision of this third volume is the most comprehensive survey of classical computer techniques for sorting and searching. It extends the treatment of data structures in Volume 1 to consider both large and small databases and internal and external memories. The book contains a selection of carefully checked computer methods, with a quantitative analysis of their efficiency. Outstanding features of the second edition include a revised section on optimum sorting and new discussions of the theory of permutations and of universal hashing.



About the Author

Donald E. Knuth is known throughout the world for his pioneering work on algorithms and programming techniques, for his invention of the Tex and Metafont systems for computer typesetting, and for his prolific and influential writing. Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, he currently devotes full time to the completion of these fascicles and the seven volumes to which they belong.




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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Mar. 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book in a keystone work of computer science. Now and then one needs a "binary search" or a related algorithm, and Knuth's book has it. Such algorithms, although basic, are notoriously easy to get wrong. The style of writing requires the reader to have some mathematics and programming background. Otherwise a reader will need to study the writing style and algorithm description.

Computer Scientists are waiting for this skilled practitioner to finish his life's work, namely Vols. 4-7. Let us hope the author has the patience and time to accomplish it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug. 1997
Format: Hardcover
The book is quite beneficial for all programmers in all ages. Not only the foundations of the programmer be improved, some techniques are also introduced in the best fashion yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just bought the book I needed out of the set. I needed to build a database that did not use any commercial package (this gives full access and no royalties). This book saved my bacon. I almost did not buy it when all I saw in it was math. But I was desperate and it paid off. Turns out you could not explain it any other way. I use it primarily for balanced trees. I may try some thing more exotic later. I can not tell you about the other volumes but this one will defiantly pay for it's self.
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Nov. 1997
Format: Hardcover
As the inventor of numerous algorithms described in Prof. Knuth's Vol. 3, 1st edition, I am very interested in his 2nd edition, when available. My 1956 MIT thesis, "Information Sorting in the Application of Electronic Digital Computers to Business Operations," was very well treated in his first edition in 1973. I anxiously await his 2nd.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
What's old is new again 4 Nov. 2006
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First the basics: it's great, it provides wide-ranging and deep analysis, it shows many views and variants of each problem, and its bibliography is helpful, though not exhaustive. The historical notes, including sorts for drum storage, may seem quaint to modern readers. And sorting has been done, right? You just run a shell program or call a function, and tap into the best technology. Does it need to be done again?

Yes, if you're on the edge of technology, it does need to be done again, and again, and again. That's because technology keeps expanding, and violating old assumptions as it does. Memories got big enough that the million-record sort is now a yawn, where it used to be a journal article. But, at the same time, processor clocks got 100-1000x ahead of memory speeds. All of a sudden, those drum-based algorithms are worth another look, because yesteryear's drum:memory ratios are a lot like today's memory:cache ratios of size and speed - and who doesn't want a 100x speedup? Parallel processing is moving from the supercomputing elite into laptops, causing more tremors in the ground rules. GPU and reconfigurable computing also open whole new realms of pitfalls as well as opportunities.

Knuth points out that the analyses have beauty in themselves, for people with eyes to see it. His analyses also demonstrate techniques applicable way beyond the immediate discussion, too. Today, though, I have nasty problems in technologies that no one really knows how to handle very well. I have to go back and check all the assumptions again, since so many of them changed. If that's the kind of problem you have, too, then this is the place to start.

//wiredweird
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The best known source of seaching and sorting algorithms 23 Mar. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book in a keystone work of computer science. Now and then one needs a "binary search" or a related algorithm, and Knuth's book has it. Such algorithms, although basic, are notoriously easy to get wrong. The style of writing requires the reader to have some mathematics and programming background. Otherwise a reader will need to study the writing style and algorithm description.

Computer Scientists are waiting for this skilled practitioner to finish his life's work, namely Vols. 4-7. Let us hope the author has the patience and time to accomplish it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just try sorting and searching with out this book 3 Aug. 2004
By bernie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I just bought the book I needed out of the set. I needed to build a database that did not use any commercial package (this gives full access and no royalties). This book saved my bacon. I almost did not buy it when all I saw in it was math. But I was desperate and it paid off. Turns out you could not explain it any other way. This book goes way beyond binary, and bubble sorts. I use it primarily for balanced trees. I may try some thing more exotic later. I can not tell you about the other volumes but this one will defiantly pay for its self.

Art of Computer Programming, The, Volumes 1-3 Boxed Set (2nd Edition) (The Art of Computer Programming Series) (Vol 1-3)
17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Legendary book 22 Dec. 1999
By Alen Lovrencic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is bible of computer programming.
It contains most detailed explanation of searching and sorting methods I ever found in a book. Contains all internal sorting and searching and external sorting and searching algorithms.
The only drawback of the book is that all algorithms are written in MIX - some kind of assembler, and because of that they are hard to read.
Thank you, Donald. 15 May 2015
By L. R. MILWARD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is getting seriously old now. Its logic will last for ever but its routines are in the style of 1960s Assembler, whereas modern computer languages offer quicker and much more efficient coding, together with far greater readability.

Numerical Recipes went for C++, which looks like a wrong decision, now that Python and C# both offer more and have fewer architectural defects that C++. C++ will of course continue to be used, because great chunks of our everyday life depend on it, but new initiatives are bound to go elsewhere if objective comparisons are made.

Who knows, will another language come along (perhaps based on functional programming) that in turn render Python and C# obsolete? Perhaps we need a well-thought-out pseudo code which can be extended and will last essentially for ever?

Another point is that in the book Donald worries about (for example) whether Heap sort is faster than Quick sort. In real life, computers are so fast that it is no longer relevant whether a routine sorts a million integers in, say, 24ms or in 18ms, for that is where we have gotten to.

If this book is ever brought up to date, which I doubt, what will be important will be the robustness and ease of debugging that will dominate, where in Donald's day it had to be speed of execution.

One approach would be to issue brief updates as the state of the art evolves, to go to all have purchased copies. Frequency? When there enough significant advances to make it worthwhile. For example, if a new compiler includes fast and efficient binary tree routines, which would obsolete all current implementations of Heap sort.

Thank you, Donald, for you have laboured like Hercules to produce these three books. Without your skills the books could never have been written.
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