 Algorithms?

1. LAT Registered User
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Oct 2003
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Seattle
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## Algorithms?

I'm simply trying to understand the terminology. Does this simply mean the stitching together of independent commands? Crud ... I lose myself in the words more than the work itself ...... offttt. If it is just stitching (which I think all programs are anyway), why does it have such prominence or is it just a way to categorize subsets of scripts ...
I'm confused

2. Registered User
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Jan 2001
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517
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithm

It's just the method employed to map the input to the output/carry out a computational task.

3. From where I come from an alogrithm is an established procedure normally associated with a mathematic technique.

Suppose you want to solve the roots of a quadratic equation there are different ways to achieve it and each method can be described as an algorithm and could be a computer procedure of its own.

For example a standard solution of finding x in equation 0=a*x*x+b*x+c is x=(-b+-sqrt(b*b-4*a*c))/(2*a). See here for details.

However one can also solve it iteratively using Newton's method of approximation and have a different algorithm for the solution. This method is based on the slope of a curve y=a*x*x+b*x+c is equal to y' or 2*a*x+b (the first derivative of y of dy/dx) which is also numerically equal to (y2-y1)/(x2-x1) where (x1,y2) and (x2,y2) are two points on the curve. If we want y2=0 then it follows (0-y1)/(x2-x1)=y' so x2=x1-y1/y'. Putting any x1, compute y1 and y' will yield a new x2. The procedure is repeated until the improvement become insignificant and latest x2 is one of the root. A full explanation is given here.

A third method is by trial and error. If you know x lies within a range you can try it with a loop by searching the entire range. The one producing the least error is your solution. Not much an algorithm but it is surprisingly effective.

A scripts comprising several commands can be described as an algorithm too as it gets something done by a procedure. However an algorithm is used more often as a computational procedure for a mathematical technique.
Last edited by saikee; 07-22-2011 at 12:47 PM.

4. Registered User
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Jun 2017
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I'd do it like this in here or by trial an error

5. EARTH
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Riviera Beach, Maryland, USA
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