RESOURCES: Find the True Path

Science  14 May 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5673, pp. 935
DOI: 10.1126/science.304.5673.935d

Whether you want a succinct statement of Zipf's law or a synopsis of the British Museum algorithm, visit the Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Aimed at mathematicians and computer scientists, the site is packed with definitions, handy functions, descriptions of famous problems, and algorithms. According to Zipf's law, for example, a few words such as “a” and “the” are common, but most are rare. And the thorough but tedious British Museum algorithm involves checking all possible solutions to a problem one by one, beginning with the smallest. The listings include links to a wealth of backgrounders, Java applet demos, papers, and other resources. Readers can help build the site by filling in incomplete entries.

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