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Back Cover

• Data Structures and Algorithms in Java, by Robert Lafore (The Waite

Group, 1998) "A beautifully written and illustrated introduction to

manipulating data in practical ways, using Java examples."

• Designed to be the most easily understood book ever written on data

structures and algorithms

• Data Structures and Algorithms is taught with "Workshop Applets+ -

animated Java programs that introduce complex topics in an

intuitively obvious way

• The text is clear, straightforward, non-academic, and supported by

numerous figures

• Simple programming examples are written in Java, which is easier to

understand than C++

About the Author

Robert Lafore has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, has

worked as a systems analyst for the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, founded

his own software company, and is a best-selling writer in the field of computer

programming. Some of his current titles are C++ Interactive Course, Object

Introduction

This introduction tells you briefly

• What this book is about

• Why it's different

• Who might want to read it

• What you need to know before you read it

• The software and equipment you need to use it

• How this book is organized

What This Book Is About

This book is about data structures and algorithms as used in computer programming.

Data structures are ways in which data is arranged in your computer's memory (or stored

on disk). Algorithms are the procedures a software program uses to manipulate the data

in these structures.

Almost every computer program, even a simple one, uses data structures and algorithms.

For example, consider a program that prints address labels. The program might use an

array containing the addresses to be printed, and a simple for loop to step through the

array, printing each address.

The array in this example is a data structure, and the for loop, used for sequential

access to the array, executes a simple algorithm. For uncomplicated programs with small

amounts of data, such a simple approach might be all you need. However, for programs

that handle even moderately large amounts of data, or that solve problems that are

slightly out of the ordinary, more sophisticated techniques are necessary. Simply knowing

the syntax of a computer language such as Java or C++ isn't enough.

This book is about what you need to know after you've learned a programming language.

The material we cover here is typically taught in colleges and universities as a second-year

course in computer science, after a student has mastered the fundamentals of

programming.

W hat's Different About This Book

There are dozens of books on data structures and algorithms. What's different about this

one? Three things:

• Our primary goal in writing this book is to make the topics we cover easy to

understand.

•

Demonstration programs called Workshop applets bring to life the topics we cover,

showing you step by step, with "moving pictures," how data structures and algo

Chapter 4, "Stacks and Queues," covers three data structures that can be thought of as

Abstract Data Types (ADTs): the stack, queue, and priority queue. These structures

reappear later in the book, embedded in various algorithms. Each is demonstrated by a

Workshop applet. The concept of ADTs is discussed.

Chapter 5, "Linked Lists," introduces linked lists, including doubly linked lists and doubleended

lists. The use of references as "painless pointers" in Java is explained. A

Workshop applet shows how insertion, searching, and deletion are carried out.

In Chapter 6, "Recursion," we explore recursion, one of the few chapter topics that is not

a data structure. Many examples of recursion are given, including the Towers of Hanoi

puzzle and the mergesort, which are demonstrated by Workshop applets.

Chapter 7, "Advanced Sorting," delves into some advanced sorting techniques: Shellsort

and quicksort. Workshop applets demonstrate Shellsort, partitioning (the basis of

quicksort), and two flavors of quicksort.

In Chapter 8, "Binary Trees," we begin our exploration of trees. This chapter covers the

simplest popular tree structure: unbalanced binary search trees. A Workshop applet

demonstrates insertion, deletion, and traversal of such trees.

Chapter 9, "Red-Black Trees," explains red-black trees, one of the most efficient

balanced trees. The Workshop applet demonstrates the rotations and color switches

necessary to balance the tree.

In Chapter 10, "2-3-4 Trees and External Storage," we cover 2-3-4 trees as an example

of multiway trees. A Workshop applet shows how they work. We also discuss the

relationship of 2-3-4 trees to B-trees, which are useful in storing external (disk) files.

Chapter 11, "Hash Tables," moves into a new field, hash tables. Workshop applets

demonstrate several approaches: linear and quadratic probing, double hashing, and

separate chaining. The hash-table approach to organizing external files is discussed.

In Chapter 12, "Heaps," we discuss the heap, a specialized tree used as an efficient

implementation of a priority queue.

Chapters 13, "Graphs," and 14, "Weighted Graphs," deal with graphs, the first with

unweighted graphs and simple searching algorithms, and the second with weighted

graphs and more complex algorithms involving the minimum spanning trees and shortest

paths.

In Chapter 15, "When to Use What," we summarize the various data structures described

in earlier chapters, with special attention to which structure is appropriate in a given

situation.

Appendix A, "How to Run the Workshop Applets and Example Programs," tells how to

use the Java Development Kit (the JDK) from Sun Microsystems, which can be used to

run the Workshop applets and the example programs. The readme file on the included

CD-ROM has additional information on these topics.

Appendix B, "Further Reading," describes some books appropriate for further reading on

data structures and other related topics.

Enjoy Yourself!

We hope we've made the learning process as painless as possible. Ideally, it should even

be fun. Let us know if you think we've succeeded in reaching this ideal, or if not

and more............

=========================================================

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