Turning algorithms in scientific papers into code.

Here’s a useful read on implementing algorithms from scientific papers. Some of the key points:

  • Be critical in finding the right paper to ensure its solid academic work e.g. follow the chain of citations to see if other independent researchers have verified the algorithm, is it published in a respected journal (generally better algorithms are as they will come under more scrutiny), is there a statistical analysis of the performance of the algorithm.
  • Look for existing implementations or libraries that can speed up development.
  • Prototype in high level and optimise later.
  • Know the definitions – “(i) avoid assumptions about words, and whenever in doubt look up the word in the context of the domain the publication was written, and (ii) write a glossary on a piece of paper of all the concepts and vocabulary specific to the publication that you did not know before.”

How to implement an algorithm from a scientific paper

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