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How to Think About Algorithms by Jeff Edmonds

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20 Reductions and NP-Completeness

A giraffe with its long neck is a very different beast than a mouse, which is different than a snake. However, Darwin and gang observed that the first two have some key similarities, both being social, nursing their young, and having hair. The third is completely different in these ways. Studying similarities and differences between things can reveal subtle and deep understandings of their underlining nature that would not have been noticed by studying them one at a time. Sometimes things that at first appear to be completely different, when viewed in another way, turn out to be the same except for superficial, cosmetic differences. This section will teach how to use reductions to discover these similarities ...

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