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ALGORITHMS DESIGN TECHNIQUES AND ANALYSIS|Views: 9,685|Likes: 55

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Dynamic programming was ﬁrst popularized in the book by Bellman (1957).

Other books in this area include Bellman and Dreyfus (1962), Dreyfus

(1977) and Nemhauser (1966). Two general survey papers by Brown (1979)

and Held and Karp (1967) are highly recommended. The all-pairs short-

est paths algorithm is due to Floyd (1962). Matrix chain multiplication is

described in Godbole (1973). An O(nlogn) algorithm to solve this prob-

lem can be found in Hu and Shing (1980, 1982, 1984). The one and two

dimensional knapsack problems have been studied extensively; see for ex-

ample Gilmore (1977), Gilmore and Gomory (1966) and Hu (1969). Held

and Karp (1962) gave an O(n2

2n

) dynamic programming algorithm for the

traveling salesman problem. This algorithm also appears in Horowitz and

Sahni (1978).

PART 3

First-Cut Techniques

227

228

229

When a solution to a problem is sought, perhaps the ﬁrst strategy that

comes to one’s mind is the greedy method. If the problem involves graphs,

then one might consider traversing the graph, visiting its vertices and per-

forming some actions depending on a decision made at that point. The

technique used to solve that problem is usually speciﬁc to the problem itself.

A common characteristic of both greedy algorithms and graph traversal is

that they are fast, as they involve making local decisions.

A graph traversal algorithm might be viewed as a greedy algorithm and

vice-versa. In graph traversal techniques, the choice of the next vertex to

be examined is restricted to the set of neighbors of the current node. This

is in contrast to examining a bigger neighborhood, clearly a simple greedy

strategy. On the other hand, a greedy algorithm can also be viewed as a

graph traversal of a particular graph. For any greedy algorithm, there is

an implicit directed acyclic graph (dag) each of whose nodes stands for a

state in that greedy computation. An intermediate state represents some

decisions that were already taken in a greedy fashion, while others remain

to be determined. In that dag, an edge from vertex u to vertex v exists only

if in the greedy method the algorithm’s state represented by v is arrived at

from that represented by vertex u as a consequence of one decision by the

greedy algorithm.

Although these techniques tend to be applied as initial solutions, they

rarely remain as the providers of optimal solutions. Their contribution

consequently is one of providing an initial solution that sets the stage for

careful examination of the speciﬁc properties of the problem.

In Chapter 8, we study in detail some algorithms that give optimal solu-

tions to well-known problems in computer science and engineering. The two

famous problems of the single-source shortest path, and ﬁnding a minimum

cost spanning tree in an undirected graph are representative of those prob-

lems for which the greedy strategy results in an optimal solution. Other

problems, like Huﬀman code, will also be covered in this chapter.

Chapter 9 is devoted to graph traversals (depth-ﬁrst search and breadth-

ﬁrst search) that are useful in solving many problems, especially graph and

geometric problems.

230

Chapter 8

The Greedy Approach

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