Contemporary distributed file systems are monolithic and only support single file abstractions. Nowadays, as Sai-Lai Lo explains, network storage devices have to accommodate new information media such as digital audio and video, with data radically different from the traditional text and binary code that contemporary file systems are optimized for. In this book, the author shows how, by combining new and traditional media, information can be recorded and presented in the most suitable way, and the value of a piece of information can be further enhanced by linking together related pieces. However, composite data and cross-reference between data items raise a number of system issues that have not been addressed properly before. Lo defines a new multiservice storage architecture that meets the needs of existing and emerging applications and can support multiple file abstractions. He also explores a number of related design issues. Researchers in the areas of distributed systems, network multimedia and network storage services will enjoy this book.
Data structures and algorithms are presented at the college level in a highly accessible format that presents material with one-page displays in a way that will appeal to both teachers and students. The thirteen chapters cover: Models of Computation, Lists, Induction and Recursion, Trees, Algorithm Design, Hashing, Heaps, Balanced Trees, Sets Over a Small Universe, Graphs, Strings, Discrete Fourier Transform, Parallel Computation.
* Complicated concepts are expressed clearly in a single page with minimal notation and without the "clutter" of the syntax of a particular programming language; algorithms are presented with self-explanatory "pseudo-code."
* Chapters 1-4 focus on elementary concepts, the exposition unfolding at a slower pace. Sample exercises with solutions are provided. Sections that may be skipped for an introductory course are starred. Requires only some basic mathematics background and some computer programming experience.
* Chapters 5-13 progress at a faster pace. The material is suitable for undergraduates or first-year graduates who need only review Chapters 1-4.
* Chapters 1-4. This book may be used for a one-semester introductory course (based on Chapters 1-4 and portions of the chapters on algorithm design, hashing, and graph algorithms) and for a one-semester advanced course that starts at Chapter 5. A yearlong course may be based on the entire book.
* Sorting, often perceived as rather technical, is not treated as a separate chapter, but is used in many examples (including bubble sort, merge sort, tree sort, heap sort, quick sort, and several parallel algorithms). Also, lower bounds on sorting by comparisons are included with the presentation of heaps in the context of lower bounds for comparison-based structures.
* Chapter 13 on parallel models of computation is something of a mini-book itself, and a good way to end a course. Although it is not clear what parallel architectures will prevail in the future, the idea is to further teach fundamental concepts in the design of algorithms by exploring classic models of parallel computation, including the PRAM, generic PRAM simulation, HC/CCC/Butterfly, the mesh, and parallel hardware area-time tradeoffs (with many examples).
Apart from classroom use, this book serves as a good reference on the subject of data structures and algorithms. Its page-at-a-time format makes it easy to review material that the reader has studied in the past.
I remember that the idea of this book emerged ?rst in Toulouse, during the Third Conference on Energy Markets - 3 years ago now. Anna Cret' ? gave a talk on a model dealing with seasonal gas storage in the USA, and Christian Von Hirschausen was her discussant. Both of them were devoting their efforts to understand the natural gas market in Europe and the relevant liberalization process. I found their interest in storage rather original, so I encouraged Anna to collect the most original cont- butions on this topic. Back in Milan with this idea in mind, she organized a working group at IEFE- Bocconi University, where she works. Then, during the following year, she - changed ideas and organized several meetings with the book's contributors. She regularly invited the most important Italian gas sector representatives to these me- ings, to make sure that the economic models were well suited to tackle the issues at stake in the European gas industry.
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