Introduction to Algorithms is a book by Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein. The book has been widely used as the textbook for algorithms courses at many universities and is commonly cited as a reference for algorithms in published papers, with over 10,000 citations documented on CiteSeerX The book sold half a million copies during its first 20 years. Its fame has led to the common use of the abbreviation “CLRS” (Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, Stein), or, in the first edition, “CLR” (Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest).
In the preface, the authors write about how the book was written to be comprehensive and useful in both teaching and professional environments. Each chapter focuses on an algorithm, and discusses its design techniques and areas of application. Instead of using a specific programming language, the algorithms are written in pseudocode. The descriptions focus on the aspects of the algorithm itself, its mathematical properties, and emphasize efficiency.