Media praise for Programming Collective Intelligence

Have a blog? Join our Reader Review Program

"Toby's book does a great job of breaking down the complex subject matter of machine-learning algorithms into practical, easy-to-understand examples that can be directly applied to analysis of social interaction across the Web today. If I had this book two years ago, it would have saved precious time going down some fruitless paths."
-- Tim Wolters, CTO, Collective Intellect

"If you are into developing intelligent software, or simply learning more about intelligent methods, this is a great book for you. The book is very well written with easy to follow Python code, clear explanations of the code, and then something often overlooked: showing the results. The interactive nature of Python allows you to work thru each code example. This makes for an excellent learning paradigm...This is the kind of book, I wish I had a month off to work thru all the examples, even as a good review."
-- John Taber, the truth is out there

"Bravo! I cannot think of a better way for a developer to first learn these algorithms and methods, nor can I think of a better way for me (an old AI dog) to reinvigorate my knowledge of the details."
-- Dan Russell, Google

"Programming Collective Intelligence is my “must have” book for 2007. I’ve been looking for a book that was able to explain machine learning, data mining and the related mathematics. I think I’ve found it! "
-- Aneesha, Random Syntax

"I first learned of this book just a few weeks ago, shortly before it was available. I immediately read the sample chapter on the publisher's website and was certain I had to get ahold of a copy...I was not in the least bit disappointed with what I found. It has been quite a while since I've looked at any Python code (I'm more of a Ruby fan, personally), but the code is easy to follow and it's a simple matter to extract the basic concepts into any language...Finally, I should mention that the last chapter does what so many other technical books should but don't: it clearly summarizes everything he has shown you. He does this in a straightforward way so that you won't have to go searching through the book, rereading everything again, to put these techniques into practice."
-- Thomas Lockney, ama

"Once in a while a book comes in that breaks the mold. Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications, by Toby Segaran is one of them. Basically, Programming Collective Intelligence is a book about analyzing Web data using statistical and AI methods in Python. It's more interesting than that sounds, however, at least partly because it's very practical and pragmatic."
-- Martin Heller, Strategic Developer

"It's an excellent book for anyone who wonders how to use data from other websites or how to use user behavior to learn how to service those users better. Toby Segaran, the author, uses a clear and expository style that allows you to learn how collective intelligence techniques work, in addition to seeing implementations of the techniques (in Python, but porting from Python isn't difficult, especially with how clear his explanations are.)...All told, it's a fascinating book. Web 2.0 isn't just about interactivity – it’s about intelligence, too. Interactivity is easy to achieve, with so many web frameworks that focus on interaction. Intelligence is a little harder – and this book goes a long way to making it easy."
-- Joseph Ottinger, TheServerSide.COM

"Statistical programmers will probably find years of entertainment here. :) "Normal" programmers will expand their horizons, too."
-- Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings

"Segaran's examples are all interesting, and both his explanations and his code are exceptionally clear. Some readers will find there's more math in the book than they'd like, but given the subject matter, that can't be helped. With a few more exercises at the end of each chapter, it'd be a great textbook; as it is, it's an excellent introduction to a topic that grows more important every day."
-- Gregory V. Wilson, Dr. Dobb's Portal

"This is one of the best books I've read in the last few years. It has a very natural and easy to follow format, with simple but powerful pieces of code written in Python...I highly recommend this book to learn about different techniques and to give you insight of what you can do with information in general. "
-- Gustavo Cavalcanti, Amazon.com

"If you're working with existing data this may spark off an inspiration that will let you add some new features or up your accuracy. Or if you're presented with a problem this book may give you techniques that will help you solve it without having to work everything out from first principles. It's well written manual that'll handily expand your repertoire."
-- Simon Winstow, London Perl Mongers

"Any library strong in programmer's guides needs Programming Collective Intelligence: it backs in details on machine statistics and uses these insights as models for creating more effective online systems."
-- James Cox, The California Bookwatch

"Programming Collective Intelligence is far more than a guide to building recommendation systems...If you ever find yourself browsing or referencing your algorithms text from college or even seriously studying algorithms for fun or profit, then I would highly recommend this book...probably the best one for relative beginners that is going to be available for a long time.If you ever find yourself browsing or referencing your algorithms text from college or even seriously studying algorithms for fun or profit, then I would highly recommend this book depending on your background in mathematics and computer science. That is, if you have a strong background in the academic study of related research, then you might look elsewhere, but this book, certainly suitable as an undergraduate text, is probably the best one for relative beginners that is going to be available for a long time."
-- Joe Kauzlarich, Slashdot.org

"...the must-have book for Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 applications."
-- Charles Merriam, BayPIGgies

"...Toby Seagram does an excellent job of making programming approaches easy to understand. I highly recommend the book even if you never plan to implement any of the algorithms, just to develop a conceptual understanding of how they work."
-- Sol Lederman, Federated Search Blog

"I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand important Web 2.0 concepts involving analysis of information and data or who needs to implement a Machine Learning or Data Mining application. "
-- Ira Laefsky, Amazon.com



"If I had this book two years ago, it would have saved precious time going down some fruitless paths."
--Tim Wolters, CTO, Collective Intellect