The CS Detective: A Tale of Algorithms, Computation, and Conspiracy

The CS Detective: A Tale of Algorithms, Computation, and Conspiracy

by Jeremy Kubica


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Meet Frank Runtime. Disgraced ex-detective. Hard-boiled private eye. Search expert.

When a robbery hits police headquarters, it’s up to Frank Runtime and his extensive search skills to catch the culprits. In this detective story, you’ll learn how to use algorithmic tools to solve the case. Runtime scours smugglers’ boats with binary search, tails spies with a search tree, escapes a prison with depth-first search, and picks locks with priority queues. Joined by know-it-all rookie Officer Notation and inept tag-along Socks, he follows a series of leads in a best-first search that unravels a deep conspiracy. Each chapter introduces a thrilling twist matched with a new algorithmic concept, ending with a technical recap.

Perfect for computer science students and amateur sleuths alike, The CS Detective adds an entertaining twist to learning algorithms.

Follow Frank’s mission and learn:
–The algorithms behind best-first and depth-first search, iterative deepening, parallelizing, binary search, and more
–Basic computational concepts like strings, arrays, stacks, and queues
–How to adapt search algorithms to unusual data structures
–The most efficient algorithms to use in a given situation, and when to apply common-sense heuristic methods

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593277499
Publisher: No Starch Press
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 514,705
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Jeremy Kubica is a principal engineer at Google working on machine learning and algorithms. He has a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in computer science from Cornell University. Kubica is the author of the popular Computational Fairy Tales blog.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

A Note to Readers xi

Chapter 1 Search Problems 1

Chapter 2 Exhaustive Search for an Informant 9

Chapter 3 Arrays and Indexes on a Criminal's Farm 17

Chapter 4 Strings and Hidden Messages 25

Chapter 5 Binary Search for a Smuggler's Ship 29

Chapter 6 Binary Search for Clues 39

Chapter 7 Adapting Algorithms for a Daring Escape 47

Chapter 8 Socks: An Interlude and an Introduction 57

Chapter 9 Backtracking to Keep the Search Going 65

Chapter 10 Picking Locks with Breadth-First Search 71

Chapter 11 Depth-First Search in an Abandoned Prison 83

Chapter 12 Cafeteria Stacks and Queues 93

Chapter 13 Stacks and Queues for Search 103

Chapter 14 Let's Split Up: Parallelized Search 109

Chapter 15 Iterative Deepening Can Save Your Life 117

Chapter 16 Inverted Indexes: The Search Narrows 127

Chapter 17 A Binary Search Tree Trap 135

Chapter 18 Building Binary Search Ladders 145

Chapter 19 Binary Search Trees for Suspects 151

Chapter 20 Adding Suspects to the Search Tree 163

Chapter 21 The Binary Search Tree Property 171

Chapter 22 Tries for Paperwork 175

Chapter 23 Best-First Search: A Detective's Most Trusted Tool 183

Chapter 24 Priority Queues for Investigations 193

Chapter 25 Priority Queues for Lock Picking 201

Chapter 26 Heuristics in Search 207

Chapter 27 Heaps in Politics and Academia 213

Chapter 28 Difficult Search Problems 223

Chapter 29 Search Termination 231

Epilogue 237

Index 239

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