A Guide to Experimental Algorithmics

A Guide to Experimental Algorithmics

By: Catherine C. McGeoch (author)Paperback

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Computational experiments on algorithms can supplement theoretical analysis by showing what algorithms, implementations and speed-up methods work best for specific machines or problems. This book guides the reader through the nuts and bolts of the major experimental questions: What should I measure? What inputs should I test? How do I analyze the data? To answer these questions the book draws on ideas from algorithm design and analysis, computer systems, and statistics and data analysis. The wide-ranging discussion includes a tutorial on system clocks and CPU timers, a survey of strategies for tuning algorithms and data structures, a cookbook of methods for generating random combinatorial inputs, and a demonstration of variance reduction techniques. The book can be used by anyone who has taken a course or two in data structures and algorithms. A companion website, AlgLab (www.cs.amherst.edu/alglab) contains downloadable files, programs and tools for use in experimental projects.

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About Author

Dr Catherine C. McGeoch is the Beitzel Professor of Technology and Society in the Department of Computer Science at Amherst College. Professor McGeoch was co-founder (with David S. Johnson) in 1990 of the Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) Implementation Challenges. In 1999 she co-founded (with Michael Goodrich) the annual Workshop on Algorithm Engineering and Experimentation (ALENEX), sponsored by SIAM. She was Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Journal of Experimental Algorithmics from 2003 to 2008 and currently serves on the ACM Publications Board.


1. Introduction; 2. A plan of attack; 3. What to measure; 4. Tuning algorithms, tuning code; 5. The toolbox; 6. Creating analysis-friendly data; 7. Data analysis.

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/01/2012
  • ISBN13: 9780521173018
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9780521173018
  • weight: 400
  • ISBN10: 0521173019

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