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**Unformatted text preview: **1.1 Algorithms 9 Technique Although you can use this book as a cookbook for algorithms, you may someday encounter a problem for which you cannot readily find a published algorithm (many of the exercises and problems in this book, for example!). This book will teach you techniques of algorithm design and analysis so that you can develop algorithms on your own, show that they give the correct answer, and understand their efficiency. Hard problems Most of this book is about efficient algorithms. Our usual measure of efficiency is speed, i.e., how long an algorithm takes to produce its result. There are some problems, however, for which no efficient solution is known. Chapter 34 studies an interesting subset of these problems, which are known as NP-complete. Why are NP-complete problems interesting? First, although no efficient algo- rithm for an NP-complete problem has ever been found, nobody has ever proven that an efficient algorithm for one cannot exist. In other words, it is unknownthat an efficient algorithm for one cannot exist....

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