DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for Introduction to Algorithms

Introduction to Algorithms

To The Innovation
Best place to learn Engineering subjects which are well written and explained. It contains programming articles, quizzes and interview question.
Originally published at totheinnovation.com Updated on ・2 min read

What are algorithms?

An Algorithm a step-by-step procedure which defines a set of instructions to be executed in a certain order to get the desired output.

In other words, algorithms are series of steps or rules for solving a computational problem.

Alt Text

Example Code:

if (clock.getTime() == 7am){
coffeeMaker.boilWater();
if (water.isBoiled()){
coffeeMaker.addCoffee();
coffeeMaker.pourCoffee();
}
}
else{
coffeeMaker.doNothing();
}

A good algorithms is like using right and efficient tool in the workshop.

Example: Using wrong algorithms mean cutting paper with a saw or trying to cut a piece of plywood with knife.

Categories of Algorithms

1.Search – Algorithm to search an item.
2.Sort – Algorithm to sort items in a certain order.
3.Insert – Algorithm to insert item.
4.Update – Algorithm to update an existing item.
5.Delete – Algorithm to delete an existing item.

Characteristics of an Algorithm

Not all procedure can be called an algorithm.

An algorithm should have the following characteristics:

1.Unambiguous – Each of its step and their inputs/outputs should be clear and must lead to only one meaning
2.Input – Should have 0 or more well-defined inputs
3.Output – should have 1 or more desirable well-defined outputs.
4.Finiteness – must terminate after a finite number of steps.
5.Feasibility – Should be feasible with the available resources.
6.Independent – Should have step-by-step directions and independent of any programming language.

How to Write an Algorithm?

There is no well-defined standard for writing algorithms. Algorithms are never written in support of a particular programming code.

We write algorithms in a step-by-step manner. Algorithms writing is a process and is executed after the problem domain is well-defined.

Example

Design an algorithm to add two numbers and display the result.

step 1 - START
step 2 - declare three integers a, b &c
step 3 - define values of a & b
step 4 - add values of a & b
step 5 - store output of step 4 to c
step 6 - print c
step 7 - STOP

Algorithms tell the programmers how to code the program. Alternatively, the algorithm can be written as :

step 1 - START ADD
step 2 - get values of a & b
step 3 - c ← a + b
step 4 - display c
step 5 - STOP

In design and analysis of algorithms, usually, the second method is used to describe an algorithm.

We design algorithms to get a solution to a given problem. A problem can be solved in more than one ways.

totheinnovation image

Visit my website

Discussion (0)

Forem Open with the Forem app