An algorithm is defined as a step-by-step procedure or method for solving a problem by a computer in a finite number of steps. Steps of an algorithm definition may include branching or repetition depending upon what problem the algorithm is being developed for. While defining an algorithm steps are written in human understandable language and independent of any programming language. We can implement it in any programming language of our choice.
Besides merely being a finite set of rules which gives a sequence of operations for solving a specific type of problem, a well defined algorithm has five important features:
In practice we not only want algorithm definitions, we want good algorithm definitions in some loosely-defined aesthetic sense. One criterion of goodness is the length of time taken to perform the algorithm. Other criteria are the adaptability of the algorithm to computers, its simplicity and elegance, etc.
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