The field of approximation algorithms, perhaps the most active area of algorithmic research today, combines a rich and deep mathematical theory with the promise of profound practical impact. Most computational problems arising across a very broad spectrum of application areas, such as VLSI design, design and operation of networks, web-related problems, scheduling, manufacturing, game theory, biology, and number theory, are NP-hard, hence making their exact solution prohibitively time-consuming. This challenge has motivated the growth of an impressive literature, providing approximation algorithms for this very diverse collection of problems. A slew of spectacular results in the last decade has revolutionized the field. The challenge met by this book is to capture the beauty and excitement of work in this thriving field and to convey in a lucid manner the underlying theory and methodology. Many of the research results presented have been simplified, and new insights provided Perhaps the most important aspect of the book is that it shows simple ways of talking about complex, powerful algorithmic ideas by giving intuitive proofs, by writing algorithms in plain English, and by providing numerous critical examples and illustrations. This book will be of interest to the scientific community at large and, in particular, to students and researchers in Computer Science, Operations Research, and Discrete Mathematics. It can be used both as a text in a graduate course on approximation algorithms and as a supplementary text in basic undergraduate and graduate courses on algorithms.
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Approximation Algorithms | SpringerLink In the 1990s, parallel developments in techniques for designing approximation algorithms as well as methods for proving hardness of approximation results have led to a beautiful theory. The need to solve truly large instances of computationally hard problems, such as those arising from the Internet or the human genome project, has also increased interest in this theory. The field is currently