# What is Algorithm? | Importance of Algorithms

Algorithums is the most important function in a computer. With the help of algorithm we are able to do some basic task. In this article I will talk about Algorithms and their types. We will also take a look towards why algorithms are required and their Importance in Our Life.

Table of Contents

## What is Algorithm?

An algorithm is a systematic set of rules or instructions written in a programming language. In computer science, algorithms are the mathematical principles underlying computation. Computer programs consist of sequences of algorithmic steps. The term often refers specifically to the conceptual framework for writing those programs.

An algorithm may be specified as a procedure (a step-by-step method) or a formula (an expression), though these terms are rarely distinguished. Formulas are generally thought to be easier to understand than procedures, since they involve simpler concepts and fewer symbols, but many mathematicians prefer to use the word algorithm for formulas. An algorithm may run either in finite time or infinite time; in mathematics, an algorithm is said to run in finite time if the number of steps taken by the algorithm before completing execution never exceeds some fixed value. Otherwise, the algorithm is said to run indefinitely.

Informally, in computer science, an algorithm runs in finite time if its solution is guaranteed to be correct after some number of steps have been performed. In contrast, an algorithm running in infinite time might produce a correct result, yet take arbitrarily long to do so.

## History Of Algorithms

The words algorithm and algorithmically derive their meaning from the Latin algorismus, which means “something done according to rule”. In computer science, the word algorithmic derives its meaning from the Latin root algo-, which means “to do”, and -rithm, which means “rule, principle, or law”, and was first used by John Wilkins in 1668. Its original definition, therefore, was “something that is done according to a particular rule or principle” and meant “algorithmic”. However, the modern usage of the verb “to algorithmicize has become synonymous with computerization and thus the adjective algorithmic is commonly associated with the concept of automation.

## Algorithms Classification

Algorithms are classified into four types based upon how the values in the input changes. These four classes are known as the greedy, depth-first search, breadth-first search, and randomized search. A **greedy algorithm** maximizes or minimizes the total value of the input. Greediness may refer to either maximizing or minimizing the sum over the output, depending on context.A **depth-first search** explores the space by visiting each node once, although nodes that are already visited cannot be revisited. Each node becomes active at the beginning of the algorithm: it starts exploring the graph and continues until it reaches a dead end.

Then, it backtracks and starts again at the parent node. A **breadth-first search** explores the entire tree by starting at the root node and then visiting each child node in order, continuing only if the current node has not already been visited. When searching for a path between two vertices, a breadth-first search always starts out from both vertices simultaneously. A **randomized search** chooses a random neighbor to explore first, where neighborhood refers to the set of neighbors of a vertex. The algorithm then visits this neighbor and repeats the process. Randomized searches allow for different paths to be explored, including ones that have not yet been discovered.

## Importance Of Algorithms

- Algorithms define a method or procedure in a computer program by defining what should happen when a specific input is given. Commonly used examples of algorithms include sorting algorithms, search algorithms, and tree traversal algorithms, among others.
- An algorithm is only valuable if it solves some problem. If you have an algorithm for converting decimal to binary, then you could use that algorithm to convert any number to binary. However, if you don’t know how to translate a decimal value to binary, then you wouldn’t really benefit from the conversion algorithm you created.
- To make an algorithm useful, you need to write it down, test it out, and document it. If you don’t do these things, you are just wasting time and space.
- Algorithms are not the same thing as data structures (which I’ll explain briefly later). Data structures help organize information in a way that makes sense to humans; they provide a convenient way of storing and accessing information. You might store a person’s name in a list-based structure, or you might put them in a dictionary, where the keys are words or phrases that describe the person. These structures allow you to access different aspects of that person’s information easily.
- Algorithm design is related to problem solving. For example, writing code to sort a list of numbers may be an algorithmic approach to a problem. On the other hand, designing a database schema might be considered an approach to a problem.

## What is the primary goal of algorithms?

The primary function of any algorithm is to compute a solution to a problem. Examples include finding a shortest path between two points on a map, calculating how much money I need to buy a certain item given my budget, or figuring out the answer to a question posed by a student. An algorithm consists of steps (or instructions) that tell the computer exactly what it needs to do to arrive at its final result. Algorithms have been around for thousands of years, they were first developed in Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt.

## Are there different types of algorithms?

Yes! There are many different kinds of algorithms including: sorting algorithms, searching algorithms, graph algorithms, integer programming, data structures.

## Why should I care about algorithms?

In today’s world we rely on computers for almost everything. Whether it’s using apps or buying stuff online or even getting directions—we use them all the time. If you want to take advantage of all these wonderful things, then you’ll need to know about algorithms.

## What does it mean if something is called an “algorithm”?

An algorithm is just a way of explaining a method to solve a problem. You may hear someone say, “We use an algorithm to…”, to explain how they solved a problem. But, what exactly happens when they do that? Well, they might write down a bunch of steps that tell their computer what to do. And that’s basically it. That’s an algorithm.

## What’s the difference between Algorithm and Machine Learning?

Machine learning is based on computer algorithms that take in data and learn what patterns and relationships exist in them. However, Algorithm is just a set of rules that computers follow. Machine learning uses these algorithms to train machines to perform actions without being explicitly programmed. Algorithms can be used to solve complex problems requiring human intervention while machine learning solves simple tasks like speech recognition, image recognition, and natural language processing.

## Conclusion

In this article I have discussed the about algorithms and what are the needs of Algorithms in a computer program. If you like this article with your friends and for further query just comment below.