Audiobook Review: Algorithms at Work

Review

Algorithms at Work audiobook cover

Title: Algorithms at Work

Author(s): Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

With around 5 hours of content, with this audiobook we'll learn about the following topics:

  • Distributed systems
  • Queueing theory
  • Concurrency & coordination
  • Consensus algorithms (Paxos & Raft)
  • Networks & hierarchies, including decentralized network structures
  • Action & reaction (game theory)

The selection is quite nice, but what I liked most is that each topic is presented with very easy to understand real world examples. Sometimes there are also purely technical explanations, but for example learning about game theory with a professional poker player, or about distributed systems with how the CERN manages multi-year and insanely huge data projects, while coordinating thousands of scientists, feels really refreshing and very interesting and different.

It doesn't covers everything, choosing instead in some topics a fragment and zooming in, but it felt like a nice refresher compared with a more traditional Distributed Systems book. And in fact I learned new things, like the Stackelberg competition model.

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