Mastering Algorithms with C
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 1999
Pages: 562

There are many books on data structures and algorithms, including some with useful libraries of C functions. Mastering Algorithms with C offers you a unique combination of theoretical background and working code. With robust solutions for everyday programming tasks, this book avoids the abstract style of most classic data structures and algorithms texts, but still provides all of the information you need to understand the purpose and use of common programming techniques.

Implementations, as well as interesting, real-world examples of each data structure and algorithm, are included.

Using both a programming style and a writing style that are exceptionally clean, Kyle Loudon shows you how to use such essential data structures as lists, stacks, queues, sets, trees, heaps, priority queues, and graphs. He explains how to use algorithms for sorting, searching, numerical analysis, data compression, data encryption, common graph problems, and computational geometry. And he describes the relative efficiency of all implementations. The compression and encryption chapters not only give you working code for reasonably efficient solutions, they offer explanations of concepts in an approachable manner for people who never have had the time or expertise to study them in depth.

Anyone with a basic understanding of the C language can use this book. In order to provide maintainable and extendible code, an extra level of abstraction (such as pointers to functions) is used in examples where appropriate. Understanding that these techniques may be unfamiliar to some programmers, Loudon explains them clearly in the introductory chapters.

Contents include:

  • Pointers
  • Recursion
  • Analysis of algorithms
  • Data structures (lists, stacks, queues, sets, hash tables, trees, heaps, priority queues, graphs)
  • Sorting and searching
  • Numerical methods
  • Data compression
  • Data encryption
  • Graph algorithms
  • Geometric algorithms
Table of Contents
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About the Author
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oreillyMastering Algorithms with C
 
4.2

(based on 9 reviews)

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(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This book is the reason for my success.

By HonestDuane

from Redmond, WA

About Me Developer

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Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

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    • Intermediate
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    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    This book is absolutely invaluable to ANYBODY working as a programmer in any language. Buy it, read it. Now.

    While others have commented on the code style and seem to unreasonably hate the fact that the code in the book is documented so well, I find this refreshing given that this book is after all about education. As noted the author takes great pains to make sure you understand what is going on and for that I solute him.

    In today's world a lot of people are starting to go with managed code and dynamic languages like Java, Python, Ruby, or C# that include basic data structures and do memory management for you as part of their core libraries; Even worse most modern education schools that I have seen do not even include the topics spoken of in this book and by lacking this education, most students are "less than they could be" professionally.

    If you want to be the best programmer you can be, you need to read this book.

    This book is an essential part of any software programmers education, and my only real gripe is that they need to create a second edition so that I can buy it as well.

    (6 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Good book; bad coding style

    By Carl

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    O'Reilly should really release a second edition of this book with reformatted code. Single-line comments are expanded into seven lines because they put asterisks and newlines around everything. It makes the code very difficult to follow.

    This is inexcusable, especially coming from a publisher with the reputation of O'Reilly. Please guys, redo this book! The material is excellent, but the source code is almost unusable.

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By Jason Greene

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    This is an excelent book. The author quite good at explaining complex material, and the combination of practical focus (unlike the purely theoretical focus of most books in this category), and plenty of example code makes this book a very quick read. This book has something for even those already well versed in this topic.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By John Lockwood

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    Overall I think Mr. Loudon did an oustanding job with this book. I wish I'd had it seven or eight years ago when I was first interested in this subject. Having clear explanations and code instead of dazzling displays of calculus makes this, to my mind, the outstanding book on the topic.

    Having said that, I do have several quibbles, however. With other reviewers, I found the comment style to be good for the line count but a bit overdone, but sometimes sparse on some of the more difficult sections of code.

    The complexities of some operations like double hashing might have been better shown in the text source (though understandably pushing both hashing methods out to the client is a design decision). Also more comparisons between closely related algorithms (chained versus open hashing comes to mind) would have been appreciated. In some respects I think the author was hamstrung by making all the chapters symetrical in structure (but it was a good structure).

    Finally, I found the makefiles somewhat poorly structured; it would have been nice to have centralized the compiler, CFLAGS etc.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By Chris Holt

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    Very good book. I liked basically everything about it

    BUT!

    the samples on the disk NEED to be put together better. In some cases I had to grab source files and copy them around in order to build a project. In some cases, the explanations in the book are excellent but the examples are a bit lacking although many of the example source files were very good.

    I would agree with most other reviews in that the GIANT block comments need to be removed.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By Bugra Cakir

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    Very good for people who wants to learn the full story of data structures

    algorithms based on C code. Codes mentioned in the Book are written with a bad style but author's knowledge and handling terms capability is excellent.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By Andrew J. Woodward

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    have read a half-dozen or more books pertaining to C Algorithms, and most of them were the same. This touched on the usual stuff - sorting, hashing, linked lists, etc. But it touched on thesesubjects in ways that are so general purpose that the sample code can be used with little modification! It also adds a couple of new things such as Set algorithms and an explaination of how to pass functions as paramenters to functions.

    There could have been a few more examples, and he could have explained some of his material in plain english, instead of engineerese.

    Overall the book is excellent, and I will refer to it often.

     
    4.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By Breandan Goodall

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    I bought this book back in February of this year (2000) as some sort of remedy after having digesting far to many chapters and books on programming in Java. This book has proved the most useful text for my course (1st year B.Sc. in Computer Science) even though C has sadly been absent from it. I learned more from the few pages in this book about Big-0 notation than I had after a week of lectures on the subject.

    In reading the book you become aware of the writers obvious respect and pride in the algorithms being presented, and you will find that you too will appreciate what are the classic works of programming. The style and content of 'Mastering Algorithms with C' is very much like a digestible derivative of 'The Art of Programming' and should help in approaching that definitive tomb of volumes.

    I thoroughly recommend this book to any Comp. Sci. student that has any sense at all of the craft or any pride in generating code that not only does the job, but does it in the most concise way possible.

     
    4.0

    Mastering Algorithms with C Review

    By Bill

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about oreilly Mastering Algorithms with C:

    I've quite enjoyed reading this book. I bought it for one reason, the chapters on graphs and find myself flipping through other chapters just because they're there and catch my interest from time to time. The only other book I've been able to find on algorithms for C was "Data Strucures using C" and that has some really ugly reading. All in all, this was definately an O'Reilly book in depth and content.

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