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Algorithms in Java Part 5 Graph Algorithms
by Robert Sedgewick

Addison-Wesley Professional
third edition
July 2003
528 pages

Reviewed by Gregg Bolinger, October 2003
  (10 of 10)

Robert Sedgewick continues his discussion on algorithms in java with the second book of his Algorithms in Java series. Graph algorithms is Part 5.

My favorite aspect of this book is the fact that Robert talks about algorithms in a very generic sense. As algorithms should be discussed. But then he shows me how to use and construct these algorithms using a language that I am familiar with; Java.

Robert wastes no time jumping right into the topic of discussion. And from cover to cover there are code samples, illustrations, graphs, and very understandable explanations.

Anyone reading this book better know what they are getting into. This book assumes more than intermediate knowledge of the Java language, but assumes nothing about your knowledge of graph algorithms. So be prepared to be intrigued, a little confused at times, but most of all, educated.

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Data Structures and Algorithms in Java
by Robert Lafore

second edition
November 2002
800 pages

Reviewed by Thomas Paul, February 2003
  (9 of 10)

Just about every Computer Science program requires a course called "Data Structures and Algorithms". In order to become a better programmer you must understand the information provided in this course. This book was written as a textbook for a "Data Structures and Algorithms" course and all the expected topics are covered; arrays, queues, stacks, linked lists, trees, hash tables, heaps, sorting, recursion, and searching. Whether you are a teacher looking for a text, a student who wants a better text than the required one, or someone who wants to learn more about programming, this book is an excellent choice. By using Java, all the complications of C++ are eliminated and the author's crystal clear explanations come shining through. And the author's explanations and examples are excellent. For example, the chapter on link lists explains what a linked list is, what problems it is supposed to solve and what problems it fails to solve, and then shows how to implement your own link list. The author provides a set of applets to visually illustrate the topics covered in the book. There are questions at the end of each chapter and answers are provided. This book is not going to explain the Collection classes or help you learn the API. What this book will do is help you get a deeper understanding of what data structures are, how they work, and what performance sacrifices must be made in order to achieve better overall performance in your programs.

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Algorithms in Java, Parts 1-4 (Third Edition)
by Robert Sedgewick, Michael Schidlowsky

Addison-Wesley Professional
third edition
August 2002
768 pages

Reviewed by Matthew Phillips, September 2002
  (7 of 10)

This book is volume one of a three part series. It covers fundamentals, data structures, sorting, and searching. This book is very detailed with good examples and well-placed exercises to reinforce the knowledge. The author does a very good job of avoiding unnecessary mathematical explanations. I spent two weeks reading this book, but to get a firm grasp of the subject matter expect to spend a lot more time.
I did find a few things that I did not like about this book. My biggest complaint is that answers are not provided to the exercises. No benefit is derived from doing it wrong and thinking you are doing it right. I also think that the examples would be much improved if the property and method names better described their purpose. Variable names like M and l are common in the example code and leave the reader with a little bit of extra work to do in understanding the code.
Overall, the positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion and make this a worthwhile book for any new Java programmer looking to take that next step.

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