Basic Concepts in Data Structures

Shmuel Tomi Klein

Published by
Cambridge University Press
ISBN 9781316613849
RRP £28.99
Reviewed by A P Sutcliffe MSc CCI, MBCS

4 out of 10

Over the last few decades, the amount of data being created and kept around the world has grown exponentially. As such, there is a real need to understand the nature of that information in order to better control and manage the manipulation and storage of the records.

It could be argued that even at simple organisational level, by having a clearer appreciation of the structure and the contents, it should be possible to improve the way in which data can be processed, and therefore save time, money and resources; so, this would be a highly worthwhile exercise.

This book is based upon the teaching material delivered by the author in lectures at a number of universities, and sets out to discuss a theoretical approach to analysing and instructing processes in order to improve the nature of the data; and therefore provide a better understanding how to improve the processing, packing and storage.

It’s written in a conversational style, based very much upon the actual discourses made by the author. Normally, this would make a book more readable, but for such a technical subject, I feel that it doesn’t quite work in the way that was intended, as it doesn’t seem to provide a format that allows easy understanding of the principles.

The preface tries to suggest that the book is self-contained and requires little technical knowledge; however, I would disagree about this, as the majority of the text does assume prior familiarity on the part of the reader, and there are many key parts that would benefit from some greater explanation. In addition, there are parts that require a strong background in mathematics that might be a bit more than many programmers have achieved.

The book has been divided up into some sensible chapters in order to allow it to be used for reference; but in a couple of cases, I would suggest that these also need previous sections to have been covered first, possibly many times in order to fully understand the material. I found it slightly disappointing that the author didn’t seem to achieve his key objectives.

Overall, this book appears to be aimed specifically at university students; whilst it might be beneficial to them, I don’t feel it would be of much value to those working in programming or managing data.

Further information: Cambridge University Press

July 2018