The word algorithm comes from a 9th-century Arab mathematician named Al-Khwarizmi, who remained recognized for stating step-by-step the rules for basic mathematical operations with decimals (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).
We see the algorithm’s definition as a group of consecutive orders that present a solution to a problem or task.
However, nowadays, the word algorithm is related to computing, specifically in programming, known as computer algorithms.
A computer platform is nothing more than a complex series of algorithms written in a programming language executed on a computer. Therefore, the knowledge of algorithms in programming is essential, so it is instrumental in taking an introductory course to program, including training algorithms. This training provides pseudo-code experience, which will be a written language to represent the algorithms before programming them. A flow diagram symbolically illustrates the different steps of the algorithm.
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Define Algorithm Computing
A computer algorithm is a sequence of finite instructions that carry out a series of processes to respond to specific problems. A computer algorithm solves any problem through concise instructions and rules, showing the result obtained.
Algorithms are fundamental in computing as they allow the programmer to solve the problem before writing it in a programming language that the machine or computer understands. Before writing the code of a program, the question that arises must remain solved with an algorithm.
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Functions of Computer Algorithm
Every algorithm has three parts.
Input: The algorithm’s information will be where all the data the algorithm needs to operate remains entered.
Processing: with what remains received in the input, the algorithm will perform a series of logical calculations to solve it.
Output: the marks achieved in the processing will remain shown in the outcome of the algorithm.
Its characteristics must remain taken into account: sequential, they remain processed one after the other; precise, they must be objective when solving the problem; order, It must be read and executed accurately; finite, they must have a certain number of steps; concrete must show a result to the problem solved; and defined, before the same inputs the same outputs must always remain obtained.
In summary, an algorithm must be sufficient to solve the problem. When faced with several algorithms that solve the same problem, the one with the shortest path will always be preferable.
Types of Computer Algorithm
According to some of its attributes, algorithms can remain classified in different ways:
According to its system of signs, we have qualitative algorithms (step by step) or quantitative (they use numerical calculations).
Algorithms that require the use of a computer for their resolution are known as computational algorithms ( non–computational ones being those that do not require the use of a computer).
The conditional algorithms reached a point of the same, present several actions to execute and solve the problem. Sequential algorithms are known as those with a sequential structure. That is, the output of one sequence is the input of the next.
Examples of Algorithms
An example of a qualitative algorithm would be a cooking recipe, where the steps to remain carried out are listed, one by one, and verbally. On the other hand, an example of a quantitative algorithm would be calculating the area of a rectangle, which involves the use of mathematical calculations to obtain it.
For a conditional algorithm, we could see a problem where the right triangle legs calculate its hypotenuse.
- We have to read the length of the two legs and calculate the hypotenuse.
- (Pythagoras theorem)
- Input variables: leg1 (real), leg2 (real)
- Output variables: hypotenuse (real)
- Read the length of the legs
- Calculate hypotenuse (In a right triangle, the hypotenuse square is equal to the sum of the legs’ courts). Therefore the hypotenuse is similar to the square root of the sum of the squares of the legs.
- Show the hypotenuse
A current example of a computer algorithm that remains commonly used daily is the Google search algorithm. When we enter the Google search engine and perform a search, what we activate is an algorithm executed by Google, which returns us a series of search results. In web positioning or SEO, Google’s algorithm or algorithms are sources of controversy because its actual operation is unknown, and many people try to decipher it daily.
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