Overview of this book

Choosing the right data structure is pivotal to optimizing the performance and scalability of applications. This new edition of Hands-On Data Structures and Algorithms with Python will expand your understanding of key structures, including stacks, queues, and lists, and also show you how to apply priority queues and heaps in applications. You’ll learn how to analyze and compare Python algorithms, and understand which algorithms should be used for a problem based on running time and computational complexity. You will also become confident organizing your code in a manageable, consistent, and scalable way, which will boost your productivity as a Python developer. By the end of this Python book, you’ll be able to manipulate the most important data structures and algorithms to more efficiently store, organize, and access data in your applications.
Preface
Free Chapter
Python Data Types and Structures
Introduction to Algorithm Design
Algorithm Design Techniques and Strategies
Stacks and Queues
Trees
Heaps and Priority Queues
Hash Tables
Graphs and Algorithms
Searching
Sorting
Selection Algorithms
String Matching Algorithms
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Index

Algorithm design techniques

Algorithm design is a powerful tool for viewing and clearly understanding well-posed, real-world problems. A straightforward, or brute-force, approach is available that is very simple, yet effective, for many problems. The brute-force approach is trying all possible combinations of solutions in order to solve any problem. For example, suppose a salesperson has to visit 10 cities across the country. In which order should the cities be visited in order to minimize the total distance traveled? The brute-force approach to this problem will be to calculate the total distance for all possible combinations of routes, and then select the route that provides the smallest distance.

As you might guess, the brute-force algorithm is not efficient.

It can provide useful solutions for limited input sizes, but it becomes very inefficient when the input size becomes large. Therefore, we will break the process down into two fundamental components for finding the...