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Approximation Algorithms [Hardcover]

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Item description for Approximation Algorithms by Vijay V. Vazirani...

This book covers the dominant theoretical approaches to the approximate solution of hard combinatorial optimization and enumeration problems. It contains elegant combinatorial theory, useful and interesting algorithms, and deep results about the intrinsic complexity of combinatorial problems. Its clarity of exposition and excellent selection of exercises will make it accessible and appealing to all those with a taste for mathematics and algorithms.

Richard Karp,University Professor, University of California at Berkeley

Following the development of basic combinatorial optimization techniques in the 1960s and 1970s, a main open question was to develop a theory of approximation algorithms. In the 1990s, parallel developments in techniques for designing approximation algorithms as well as methods for proving hardness of approximation results have led to a beautiful theory. The need to solve truly large instances of computationally hard problems, such as those arising from the Internet or the human genome project, has also increased interest in this theory. The field is currently very active, with the toolbox of approximation algorithm design techniques getting always richer.

It is a pleasure to recommend Vijay Vazirani's well-written and comprehensive book on this important and timely topic. I am sure the reader will find it most useful both as an introduction to approximability as well as a reference to the many aspects of approximation algorithms.

Lszl Lovsz, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research

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Item Specifications...

Pages   378
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.55 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 22, 2004
Publisher   Springer
ISBN  3540653678  
ISBN13  9783540653677  

Availability  0 units.

More About Vijay V. Vazirani

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Vijay Vazirani got his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from MIT in 1979 and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1983. The central theme in his research career has been the design of efficient algorithms. Additionally, he has also worked on complexity theory, cryptography, coding theory and game theory. In 2001 he published what is widely regarded as the definitive book on Approximation Algorithms; this book has been translated into Japanese, Polish and French. He is a Fellow of the ACM.

Vijay V. Vazirani has an academic affiliation as follows - Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Computer Science & Information Systems > Algorithms
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Computer Science & Information Systems > Graphics & Visualization
3Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > General
4Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Graphics & Illustration > General
5Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Programming > Algorithms > General
6Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Web Development > HTML, Graphics, & Design > Web Graphics
7Books > Subjects > Science > Mathematics > Pure Mathematics > Calculus

Reviews - What do customers think about Approximation Algorithms?

a wide variety of topics  Nov 7, 2006
Vazirani's book seems well suited for a computer science researcher who has had a rigorous background in pure maths. The level of difficulty can be quite advanced. Also, it is not the sort of book that gives algorithm examples in an actual programming language. Not that this should be a handicap to a skilled reader. The algorithms are usually described in high level pseudocode. You have to manually instantiate these in the language of your preference.

The 30 chapters span a wide variety of computational topics. Some are simpler than others to understand. Like the chapter on finding the shortest vector from the integer lattice made from a set of linearly independent vectors. That requires only a year or so of introductory linear algebra.

There are exercises for each chapter. Some exercises are formidable. Essentially like little research problems in their own right. Another plus for the book.
Very nice introduction  May 20, 2006
This is a quite nice book by an author who is well-known in the field. The book is not thematic, instead it presents certain problems in each chapter along with the main approximation algorithms and correctness proofs. Yet, each new concept is well introduced with the problems. For instance, the author presents LP-based techniques on the same problem (set cover) in the second part of the book. This makes it quite easy to compare and understand different techniques. The last part of the book is a little bit advanced compared to the first two parts which uses combinatorial or LP-based analysis of the algorithms. The presentation of the PCP theorem- arguably the deepest theorem of computer science- and its consequences are also in the last part.

A warning though: The book is quite terse at times, which enforces a dense reading. This may not be suitable for an undergradute study. My only complaint is that the PCP theorem might well be introduced with a little more intution.

Overall, I rate this book as excellent. If you are interested in algorithms, you should definitely buy it. Also, buy the "Complexity and Approximation" by Ausiello, Crescenzi and others. They provide a more comprehensive and thematic treatment. It also has an excellent bibliography and list of NP-hard problems. These two will make a great couple. The book edited by Hochbaum (Approximation Algorithms for NP-hard problems) on the other hand presents detailed information on the algorithms.
Short and Sweet  Mar 12, 2006
This is a fanastic topics book in approximation algorithms. The problems and proofs are challenging and concise, but written in a very accessible manner. It is a great reference book, and also a convenient place to grab a lecture from if you need something to fill our a course. I have found it extremely useful, and even fun to read. I highly reccomend it for any person interested in theoretical computer science.
Much needed desktop reference for anyone working with algorithms, networking protocols, optimization  Mar 9, 2006
I have been looking for books related to solving NP-complete and NP-hard problems approximately. There is another book by Hochbaum and I have that too. Unfortunately, that book is more of a research oriented book as it is written by several researchers. It's like reading several research papers within two hard covers. This means that one needs to have a sort of intermediate level of experience with approximation algorithms.

For a beginner, one would expect a book that starts from ground-up and that has been written as a textbook rather than as a set of research papers. The book by Dr. Vazirani, is the only book that is written by one author with a step-by-step evolution of concepts and ideas related to approximation algorithms.
Only for graduate level - very good  Nov 22, 2005
Very good, it is easy to read the book if you have a good level
of knowledge and the experience to think some details in the
proofs of the theorems.
I think it is a very good book for a graduate student.

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