The Power of Algorithms

Inspiration and Examples in Everyday Life

  • Giorgio Ausiello
  • Rossella Petreschi

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Finding One’s Way in a World of Algorithms

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Giorgio Ausiello
      Pages 3-26
    3. Rossella Petreschi
      Pages 27-57
    4. Alessandro Panconesi
      Pages 59-81
  3. The Difficult Simplicity of Daily Life

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Camil Demetrescu, Giuseppe F. Italiano
      Pages 85-105
    3. Paolo Ferragina, Rossano Venturini
      Pages 107-137
    4. Alberto Marchetti-Spaccamela
      Pages 139-165
    5. Raffaele Giancarlo
      Pages 167-186
    6. Fabrizio Rossi, Antonio Sassano, Stefano Smriglio
      Pages 187-205
    7. Vincenzo Bonifaci, Stefano Leonardi
      Pages 207-234
    8. Riccardo Silvestri
      Pages 235-250
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 251-255

About this book


To examine, analyze, and manipulate a problem to the point of designing an algorithm for solving it is an exercise of fundamental value in many fields. With so many everyday activities governed by algorithmic principles, the power, precision, reliability and speed of execution demanded by users have transformed the design and construction of algorithms from a creative, artisanal activity into a full-fledged science in its own right. This book is aimed at all those who exploit the results of this new science, as designers and as consumers.


The first chapter is an overview of the related history, demonstrating the long development of ideas such as recursion and more recent formalizations such as computability. The second chapter shows how the design of algorithms requires appropriate techniques and sophisticated organization of data. In the subsequent chapters the contributing authors present examples from diverse areas – such as routing and networking problems, Web search, information security, auctions and games, complexity and randomness, and the life sciences – that show how algorithmic thinking offers practical solutions and also deepens domain knowledge.


The contributing authors are top-class researchers with considerable academic and industrial experience; they are also excellent educators and communicators and they draw on this experience with enthusiasm and humor. This book is an excellent introduction to an intriguing domain and it will be enjoyed by undergraduate and postgraduate students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics, and more broadly by all those engaged with algorithmic thinking.


Algorithmics Algorithms Algorithms in nature Auctions Bioinformatics Broadcasting Complexity Computational complexity Computational systems biology Computer science education Cryptology Data structures Digital signatures Game theory Games Graphs History of science Indexing Information science Life science Mechanism design Network design Optimization Popular science Prisoner's dilemma Randomness Routing Search String algorithmics Web search

Editors and affiliations

  • Giorgio Ausiello
    • 1
  • Rossella Petreschi
    • 2
  1. 1.Università di Roma "La Sapienza" Dip. di Informatica e SistemisticaRomeItaly
  2. 2.Università di Roma "La Sapienza" Dipartimento di InformaticaRomeItaly

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software