IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 10 -- BOOK REVIEWS
Original Publication Date: 1982-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
True Seaborn: AUTHOR [+3]
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Recently published books and new periodicals may be submitted for review to the book reviews editor: Dr. Francis P. Mathur Mathematics Department California State Polytechnic University 3SOI West Temple A venue Pomona, CA 91768 Telephone: (714) 598-4421 Note: Publications reviewed in this section are not available from the IEEE Computer Society; they must be ordered directly from the publisher. To request ordering information, circle the appropriate number on the Reader Service Card
The Structure of Computers and Computations, Volume I -- David J. Kuck, (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1978, 611 pp. $32.95).
Professor Kuck's treatment of the fundamentals of computer architecture qualifies as one of the most complete and best-written texts I have read. Blending theoretical and esoteric concepts with practical applications, each chapter begins -- in the manner of Knuth -- with a humorous apropos quotation and is followed by an extensive set of problems, ranked by difficulty, to challenge the reader's understanding.
The framework for the rest of the text, Chapter I outlines the principles of computer architecture and design. Each of the five major computer system parameters -- cost, speed, quality and usefulness, design assurance, and reliability - - is discussed and detailed with respect to its effect on an architecture. Basic hardware and software concepts are reviewed. (The hardware section summarizes combinational and sequential circuit concepts, then describes an elementary computer system model; the discussion on software covers program translations, operating systems, and multiprogramming concepts.) A section on computer system principles introduces theoretical and practical issues involved in several classes of computer architectures, and the first chapter concludes with an amusing and informative history of computer systems.
Kuck points out in the preface that those not interested in heavy detail can skim the secondfchapter on the theoretical foundations of computational systems. Intended for more advanced students, this section of the text is highly detailed, and plowing through it would require patience, determination, and endurance on the part of a beginning student. The topics include tree-height reduction, recurrence relations, program dependence and transformation, and system capacity.
Chapter 3 deals with processors, beginning with the basics of number representations, arithmetic algorithms, design tradeoffs, the organization of the arithmetic and logic unit, and multi-operation proc...