||This book is intended to survey the most important algorithms in use on computers today and to teach fundamental techniques to the growing number of people who are interested in becoming serious computer users. It is appropriate for use as a textbook for a second, third or fourth course in computer science: after students have acquired some programming skills and familiarity with computer systems, but before they have specialized courses in advanced areas of computer science or computer applications. Additionally, the book may be useful as a reference for those who already have some familiarity with the material, since it contains a number of computer implementations of useful algorithms.
The book consists of forty chapters which are grouped into seven major parts: mathematical algorithms, sorting, searching, string processing, geometric algorithms, graph algorithms and advanced topics. A major goal in the development of this book has been to bring together the fundamental methods from these diverse areas, in order to provide access to the best methods that we know for solving problems by computer for as many people as possible. The treatment of sorting, searching and string processing (which may not be covered in other courses) is somewhat more complete than the treatment of mathematical algorithms (which may be covered in more depth in applied mathematics or engineering courses), or geometric and graph algorithms (which may be covered in more depth in advanced computer science courses). Some of the chapters involve introductory treatment of advanced material. It is hoped that the descriptions here can provide students with some understanding of the basic properties of fundamental algorithms such as the FFT or the simplex method, while at the same time preparing them to better appreciate the methods when they learn them in advanced courses.
The orientation of the book is towards algorithms that are likely to be of practical use. The emphasis is on teaching students the tools of their trade to the point that they can confidently implement, run and debug useful algorithms. Full implementations of the methods discussed (in an actual programming language) are included in the text, along with descriptions of the operations of these programs on a consistent set of examples. Though not emphasized, connections to theoretical computer science and the analysis of algorithms are not ignored. When appropriate, analytic results are discussed to illustrate why certain algorithms are preferred. When interesting, the relationship of the practical algorithms being discussed to purely theoretical results is described. More information of the orientation and coverage of the material in the book may be found in the Introduction which follows.
One or two previous courses in computer science are recommended for students to be able to appreciate the material in this book: one course in