What Is A Programming Algorithm?

Written by Caitlin Davidson

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Programming Algorithm Defined

A programming algorithm is a procedure or formula used for solving a problem. It is based on conducting a sequence of specified actions in which these actions describe how to do something, and your computer will do it exactly that way every time. An algorithm works by following a procedure, made up of inputs. Once it has followed all the inputs, it will see a result, also known as output.  

Characteristics of an algorithm:

  1. Precision – the steps are precisely stated.
  2. Uniqueness – results of each step are uniquely defined and only depend on the input and the result of the preceding steps.
  3. Finiteness – the algorithm stops after a finite number of instructions are executed.
  4. Input – the algorithm receives input.
  5. Output – the algorithm produces output.
  6. Generality – the algorithm applies to a set of inputs.

There are seven different types of programming algorithms:

  1. Sort algorithms
  2. Search algorithms
  3. Hashing
  4. Dynamic Programming
  5. Exponential by squaring
  6. String matching and parsing
  7. Primality testing algorithms

The advantages of  programming algorithms include:

  • A stepwise representation of a solution to a given problem, making it easy to understand.
  • Uses a definite procedure.
  • Not dependent on a particular programming language.
  • Every step in an algorithm has its own logical sequence, making it easy to debug.

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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