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Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures

If you want to look up the definition of a software development term that you won’t be able to understand unless you already know the meaning, the NIST Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures might be a resource. Each definition seems to depend upon many other words in the dictionary and the links to those words can make for an interesting journey. I wonder if they get circular.

This is a dictionary of algorithms, algorithmic techniques, data structures, archetypal problems, and related definitions. Algorithms include common functions, such as Ackermann’s function. Problems include traveling salesman and Byzantine generals. Some entries have links to implementations and more information. Index pages list entries by area and by type. The two-level index has a total download 1/20 as big as this page.

If you don’t have a clue, the dictionary can be an interesting look at the terms and names and ideas that define software development and how they fit together. There are also links you can use to escape the dictionary into more complete treatments of the concepts, some with code.

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