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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 8 July 2010
This book gives an extremely wordy yet superficial explanation of a lot of algorithms, it goes to great lengths to describe the problem but doesn't really go into enough depth on anything but the basics to be immediately useful in formulating a solution. I know this has quite a few good reviews, so I guess people have found it useful, but personally I would say wikipedia is a much better source for information about a lot of the things discussed in this book, both in terms of depth of information and succinctness. The book is useful as an index into the wider world of algorithms but quite why it took the author 700 pages to achieve this is beyond me.
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on 14 May 2012
First the pros: in terms of coverage, this book gives a good introduction to, and listing of, algorithms. The catalog that makes up the second half looks like an extremely useful reference (although I haven't had a chance to use it as such as I've only finished the book). The "War Stories" (sample real-world problems that the author has had to solve presented in a chatty style) are a good idea.

Now, the cons. I believe it really falls down on presentation.

1. Often poor explanations. I often found myself rereading lines/paragraphs over & over to try to get the meaning. Then going to wikipedia where the particular issue was clearly & concisely explained. The most cursory proofreading by a student could have easily pointed out the missing word/line that would have clarified the text. Also, the structure is out of order - sometimes reference is made to terms that are not explained until later in the text.

2. Mistakes. The book is full of mistakes. Typos, grammar, but worst of all - and this is unforgivable - code errors. I spent hours looking at one code solution wondering why I couldnt understand it. I finally suspected the problem was not with me & subsequently found a list of errata on the web (not allowed to put the link in this review). If you do buy this book I strongly urge you to check if your revision has these errors and, if so, correct them before you start reading. I cannot understand how this book got to a second edition (and God knows how many revisions) without correcting these errors. Some of them are crucial - code won't work with them. Even the word "not" is in one line when it shouldn't be!! This is unbelievably sloppy. Has noone actually proofread this book at all?

Its a shame the presentation is so poor. If I spent an hour or two with the author after reading it, I believe I could help him to substantially improve it in terms of presentation. With better presentation, I believe it would be a very worthwhile read.
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on 24 October 2016
Delivered as expected :)
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on 8 March 2011
It's a very nice book to read with a straight to the point approach, but I missed something deeper about trees and other things that Introduction to Algorithms covers more completely.
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on 11 November 2011
This is a good introduction to algorithms and data structures, and covers in detail most of the common algorithms, but is perhaps less useful to the seasoned veteran looking for a reference book.

It starts with the basics, explaining Big O notation, sorting algorithms, Linked Lists, Hashing, and Binary Trees etc. Next there are a several chapters on Graphs, both weighted and unweighted and their corresponding algorithms - depth/breadth first search, shortest path, minimum spanning tree, maximum flow etc.

Then there's coverage of more advanced topics such as dynamic programming, heuristics and NP hard problems, and finally the second half of the book details problems you're likely to encounter and the relevant algorithms that can be used to solve them.

All the examples are given in C, so you may need at least a passing familiarity with the language to get the most out of this book.

Whilst it's a good learning aid, more advanced algorithms whilst mentioned aren't given in any detail. For example it'd be nice to know how the various flavours of self balancing binary trees work, or how exactly to construct a suffix tree. Still the book makes for a very good starting point.
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on 5 December 2016
Don't buy this book expecting a very detailed and mathematical approach to each algorithm.

However, this book provides an excellent catalog of algorithms, very handy if you need to revisit topics you have forgotten (or read about things you may have missed). It's indeed helpful if you prepare for a tough interview.

Beware of bugs in the code though. It's best to implement each solution yourself anyway.
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on 16 September 2016
Bought because advertised over the web as a good book to prepare for a tough job interview but the book is not good, it is simply not rigourous and you will find it poor if you have already studied the subject elsewhere.

My main objection to it is that it strives to be a popular book when in fact the subject is highly technical - no matter how you try to slice it.
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on 26 January 2012
This is a fantastic book, filled with interesting stories and information, well written and informative. It covers all aspects of algorithm design from the basics through to advanced graph based algorithms. It also comes with a great recipe book at the back for selecting the correct algorithm to solve a problem. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone - it will make you a better programmer.
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on 16 January 2014
What I like about this book is that, it does not talk about what a particular algorithm does and how it is implemented, but more it takes you on a flight between two algorithms. It trains the methodology, logical plan how (and possibly why) one takes off from an earlier algorithm and goes on developing something new.

A must read for any computer scientist, student or educator, who likes to invest more in ideas than the actual details.
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on 28 September 2014
First class - I bought the second edition specifically because it's recommended for interviews with companies like Facebook and Google. The discussion are first class. At the end of each chapter there are questions, interview questions, and links to problems on programming-challenges.com to test your understanding. There is probably more here than you'll need at interview, and it'll serve as a good reference for years to come. This is not a standalone book - some areas are strictly presented as summaries of existing work. Would still recommend having CLRS, Knuth, and Bentley's programming pearls in your bookshelf too.
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