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Book Reviews: Guest Reviewer: Kim


November 06, 2004
All books on this site are reviewed by me (Martin), except for the books in this particular section. All these reviews are done by Kim. Actually, the books in this section are books I (Martin) haven't read, while a lot of the books in my (Martin's) sections have been read by us both. There's no section of books only I (Martin) have read but not Kim, though. Making things complicated, I know... (No comments yet)

Theory of Computation, Formal Languages...

November 10, 2004
Glenn Brookshear, Benjamin/Cummings 1989
(The full title is actually "Theory of Computation, Formal Languages, Automata, and Complexity", but it didn't fit in the subject line. )

This book grants you an in-depth study of the theory of computation and serves to explain the basis of parsers, language recognition, programming languages, and complexity. Brookshear starts from ground level and works his way up proving the theory of computation based on the works of Turing and Church. The strong evidence he supplies should adds some roots to your knowledge.

This book allows you to come to grips with different computational problems. It is actually quite an eye opener that a computer can be reduced to such a simple set of mathematical formulas and diagrams, yet still remain powerful enough to compute the entire scope of problems that modern day computers do as well. I don't expect the material in this book to be outdated any time soon. (No comments yet)

Principles of Computer Architecture

October 25, 2004
Murdocca - Heuring, Prentice-Hall 2000
Reviewed by Kim
This is the second computer architecture book that I have completely absorbed written by Heuring. His first book that I read six years ago, "Computer Systems, Design and Architecture", left me in awe at that time. He completely built a simple 32-bit theoretical computer from the ground up while defining a basic assembly language that correlates to the theoretical machine. This maybe not all that, but he developed a virtual machine that yet also correlated to the theoretical machine and the assembly language. This made me giddy. It was a play toy for the reader. The book was also clear, concise and thorough about memory stategies, caching techniques, pipelining and more.

Considering how fast computer architecture is moving, it is highly welcome that Murdocca and Heuring introduced "Principles of Computer Architecture". Yet again they achieved the same aspects of the previous book, but they centered a lot around Java and its virtual machine. The book also elaborates on new and upcoming architectures of parallel processing including a new chapter devoted to network communications.

All in all I think this is a must read for beginners or anyone who wants their background knowledge about the workings of a PC to be complete. (No comments yet)

Artificial Intelligence - a modern approach

May 20, 2004
Russell-Norvig, Prentice-Hall 1995
New book. The subtitle "a modern approach" makes me wonder though... as if it's needed to distinguish itself from similar books with subtitles like "a boring approach", "a totally outdated approach" and so on. I'll get over it, don't worry. (Added october 2000)

(11/2002): Hmmm.... I think I gave it away to somebody. (2 comments)
I wonder to whom you gave it? (nevelsteen)
May 24, 2004
 Since you did indeed give it away, maybe I should be the one to review the book. I have not read an extensive amount of books pertaining to Artificial Intelligence, but the view I get from this book simply screams "text-book". A wide variety of subjects, touched apon just enough so that the reader can get his feet wet. For a more indepth reading on the specifics of Artificial Intelligence one might want to grab a book that singles out one subject of AI and concentrates on it. I did however like this book very much. Easy reading with a good capacity to keep me interested. Broadened my horizons on AI a bit, but not enough to where I can sit down a program a Neural Net. -KiM

May 24, 2004
 Makes me wonder if I shouldn't borrow it from you sometime.