What is an Algorithm?

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  • An algorithm is a sequence or set of instructions for solving a problem.
  • Set of rules to be followed in solving a problem.
  • An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure which defines a set of instruction to be executed in a certain order to get the desired output.
  • An algorithm can perform calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning task
  • An algorithm can be implemented in more than on language.

Important Categories of Algorithm

  • Search:   Algorithm to search an item.
  • Sort:  Algorithm to search item in a certain order.
  • Insert:      Algorithm to insert an item in a data structure.
  • Update:   Algorithm to update an existing item.
  • Delete:    Algorithm to delete an existing item.

Characteristics of an Algorithm

INPUT:   An algorithm should have zero or better define the number of inputs.

FEASIBILITY:   Algorithm should be feasible with the available resources.

INDEPENDENT:   An algorithm should have step-by-step directions which should be independent of any programming codes.

UNAMBIGUOUS:   Algorithm should be clear and unambiguous i.e for each step and their input/output should be clear and must lead to only one meaning.

FINITENESS:   Algorithm must be terminated after a finite number of steps.

Important Problem Types

  • Sorting
  • Searching
  • String Processing
  • Graph Problems
  • Geometric Problems
  • Numerical Problems

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