Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths is an immersive look at the history and development of several algorithms used to solve computer science problems. It also considers potential applications of algorithms in human life including memory storage and network communication.
One such computer science problem is the optimal stopping problem, the mathematical puzzle for determining how long to review options and gather data before settling on the best choice available. The algorithm, based on statistical analysis, shows that there is an optimal place or time to stop researching options or solutions to a problem and instead commit to the next option that's just as good as those already considered. Similarly, the mathematical way to decide whether to try something new or stick with the familiar choice is expressed by the Gittins Index score of any given alternative.
Please note: This is key takeaways and analysis of the book and not the original book.
I have bought several "summary" books here and soured on many. Sometimes the writer seems lazy, or otherwise mediocre. I am happy to report, here, I can tell this writer really dug into the book and composed this writing well, to bring up some useful and interesting bits, and give the listener a glimpse into this fascinating book. I have the full-length audiobook and am very avid to hear it all now. The puzzles posed by these algorithms are very absorbing.
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