Dive Into Algorithms: A Pythonic Adventure for the Intrepid Beginner

Dive Into Algorithms: A Pythonic Adventure for the Intrepid Beginner

by Bradford Tuckfield
Dive Into Algorithms: A Pythonic Adventure for the Intrepid Beginner

Dive Into Algorithms: A Pythonic Adventure for the Intrepid Beginner

by Bradford Tuckfield


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Dive Into Algorithms is a broad introduction to algorithms using the Python Programming Language.

Dive Into Algorithms is a wide-ranging, Pythonic tour of many of the world's most interesting algorithms. With little more than a bit of computer programming experience and basic high-school math, you'll explore standard computer science algorithms for searching, sorting, and optimization; human-based algorithms that help us determine how to catch a baseball or eat the right amount at a buffet; and advanced algorithms like ones used in machine learning and artificial intelligence. You'll even explore how ancient Egyptians and Russian peasants used algorithms to multiply numbers, how the ancient Greeks used them to find greatest common divisors, and how Japanese scholars in the age of samurai designed algorithms capable of generating magic squares.

You'll explore algorithms that are useful in pure mathematics and learn how mathematical ideas can improve algorithms. You'll learn about an algorithm for generating continued fractions, one for quick calculations of square roots, and another for generating seemingly random sets of numbers.

You'll also learn how to:
  • Use algorithms to debug code, maximize revenue, schedule tasks, and create decision trees
  • Measure the efficiency and speed of algorithms
  • Generate Voronoi diagrams for use in various geometric applications
  • Use algorithms to build a simple chatbot, win at board games, or solve sudoku puzzles
  • Write code for gradient ascent and descent algorithms that can find the maxima and minima of functions
  • Use simulated annealing to perform global optimization
  • Build a decision tree to predict happiness based on a person's characteristics

  • Once you've finished this book you'll understand how to code and implement important algorithms as well as how to measure and optimize their performance, all while learning the nitty-gritty details of today's most powerful algorithms.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781718500686
    Publisher: No Starch Press
    Publication date: 01/25/2021
    Pages: 248
    Sales rank: 663,863
    Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

    About the Author

    Bradford Tuckfield, PhD, is the founder of Kmbara, which solves problems using machine learning, AI, chatbots, and other data-based innovations. The author of Applied Unsupervised Learning with R, his work has also been featured in top scholarly journals, and his essays on culture and public policy can be seen in Quillette, National Affairs, and other prestigious outlets.

    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments xiii

    Introduction xv

    Who Is This Book For? xvii

    About This Book xviii

    Setting Up the Environment xix

    Install Python on Windows xix

    Install Python on macOS xx

    Install Python on Linux xx

    Installing Third-Party Modules xxi

    Summary xxi

    1 Problem-Solving With Algorithms 1

    The Analytic Approach 2

    The Galilean Model 2

    The Solve-for-x Strategy 4

    The Inner Physicist 5

    The Algorithmic Approach 6

    Thinking with Your Neck 6

    Applying Chapman's Algorithm 9

    Solving Problems with Algorithms 10

    Summary 12

    2 Algorithms in History 13

    Russian Peasant Multiplication 14

    Doing RPM by Hand 14

    Implementing RPM in Python 18

    Euclid's Algorithm 20

    Doing Euclid's Algorithm by Hand 20

    Implementing Euclid's Algorithm in Python 21

    Japanese Magic Squares 22

    Creating the Luo Shu Square in Python 22

    Implementing Kurushima's Algorithm in Python 24

    Summary 34

    3 Maximizing and Minimizing 35

    Setting Tax Rates 36

    Steps in the Right Direction 36

    Turning the Steps into an Algorithm 39

    Objections to Gradient Ascent 41

    The Problem of Local Extrema 42

    Education and Lifetime Income 42

    Climbing the Education Hill-the Right Way 44

    From Maximization to Minimization 45

    Hill Climbing in General 47

    When Not to Use an Algorithm 48

    Summary 50

    4 Sorting and Searching 51

    Insertion Sort 52

    Putting the Insertion in Insertion Sort 52

    Sorting via Insertion 54

    Measuring Algorithm Efficiency 55

    Why Aim For Efficiency? 56

    Measuring Time Precisely 57

    Counting Steps 57

    Comparing to Well-Known Functions 60

    Adding Even More Theoretical Precision 63

    Using Big O Notation 64

    Merge Sort 65

    Merging 66

    From Merging to Sorting 68

    Sleep Sort 70

    From Sorting to Searching 72

    Binary Search 73

    Applications of Binary Search 75

    Summary 76

    5 Pure Math 77

    Continued Fractions 78

    Compressing and Communicating Phi 79

    More about Continued Fractions 80

    An Algorithm for Generating Continued Fractions 82

    From Decimals to Continued Fractions 86

    From Fractions to Radicals 88

    Square Roots 89

    The Babylonian Algorithm 89

    Square Roots in Python 90

    Random Number Generators 91

    The Possibility of Randomness 91

    Linear Congruential Generators 92

    Judging a PRNG 93

    The Diehard Tests for Randomness 95

    Linear Feedback Shift Registers 97

    Summary 99

    7 Advanced Optimization 101

    Life of a Salesman 102

    Setting Up the Problem 103

    Brains vs. Brawn 106

    The Nearest Neighbor Algorithm 108

    Implementing Nearest Neighbor Search 108

    Checking for Further Improvements 110

    Algorithms for the Avaricious 112

    Introducing the Temperature Function 113

    Simulated Annealing 115

    Tuning Our Algorithm 118

    Avoiding Major Setbacks 120

    Allowing Resets 121

    Testing Our Performance 122

    Summary 124

    7 Geometry 125

    The Postmaster Problem 126

    Triangles 101 128

    Advanced Graduate-Level Triangle Studies 130

    Finding the Circumcenter 131

    Increasing Our Plotting Capabilities 133

    Delaunay Triangulation 134

    Incrementally Generating Delaunay Triangulations 136

    Implementing Delaunay Triangulations 139

    From Delaunay to Voronoi 143

    Summary 147

    8 Language 149

    Why Language Algorithms Are Hard 150

    Space Insertion 150

    Defining a Word List and Finding Words 151

    Dealing with Compound Words 152

    Checking Between Existing Spaces for Potential Words 153

    Using an Imported Corpus to Check for Valid Words 154

    Finding First and Second Halves of Potential Words 156

    Phrase Completion 159

    Tokenizing and Getting N-grams 159

    Our Strategy 160

    Finding Candidate n + 1-grams 161

    Selecting a Phrase Based on Frequency 162

    Summary 163

    9 Machine Learning 165

    Decision Trees 165

    Building a Decision Tree 167

    Downloading Our Dataset 168

    Looking at the Data 168

    Splitting Our Data 169

    Smarter Splitting 171

    Choosing Splitting Variables 173

    Adding Depth 175

    Evaluating Our Decision Tree 178

    The Problem of Overfitting 179

    Improvements and Refinements 181

    Random Forests 182

    Summary 183

    10 Artificial Intelligence 185

    La Pipopipette 186

    Drawing the Board 187

    Representing Games 188

    Scoring Games 189

    Game Trees and How to Win a Game 190

    Building Our Tree 192

    Winning a Game 195

    Adding Enhancements 199

    Summary 200

    11 Forging Ahead 201

    Doing More with Algorithms 202

    Building a Chatbot 203

    Text Vectorization 204

    Vector Similarity 206

    Becoming Better and Faster 209

    Algorithms for the Ambitious 209

    Solving the Deepest Mysteries 212

    Index 215

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