algorithm
(derived from the name of the Islamic mathematician Al-Khowarizmi) A set of rules or instructions that will result in the solution of a problem. An algorithm gives a decision procedure, or computable method for solving a problem. Although an algorithm will solve the problem, it may not do so efficiently, and in the theory of computation algorithms may be measured for their efficiency and their behaviour in various circumstances, for example across average cases and unfavourable cases. See also Church's thesis, decision problem, recursive, Turing machine.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • algorithm — UK US /ˈælgərɪðəm/ noun [C] IT ► a set of mathematical instructions that must be followed in a fixed order, and that, especially if given to a computer, will help to calculate an answer to a mathematical problem: a computer/mathematical/search… …   Financial and business terms

  • algorithm — n. a precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problem; a set of procedures guaranteed to find the solution to a problem. Syn: algorithmic rule, algorithmic program [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • algorithm — [al′gə rith΄əm] n. [altered (after ARITHMETIC) < ALGORISM] 1. Math. a) any systematic method of solving a certain kind of problem b) the repetitive calculations used in finding the greatest common divisor of two numbers: called in full… …   English World dictionary

  • Algorithm —   [engl.], Algorithmus.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • algorithm — (n.) 1690s, from Fr. algorithme, refashioned (under mistaken connection with Gk. arithmos number ) from O.Fr. algorisme the Arabic numeral system (13c.), from M.L. algorismus, a mangled transliteration of Arabic al Khwarizmi native of Khwarazm,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • algorithm — ► NOUN ▪ a process or set of rules used in calculations or other problem solving operations. DERIVATIVES algorithmic adjective. ORIGIN Latin algorismus, from an Arabic word meaning the man of Kw rizm , referring to a 9th century mathematician …   English terms dictionary

  • Algorithm — Flow chart of an algorithm (Euclid s algorithm) for calculating the greatest common divisor (g.c.d.) of two numbers a and b in locations named A and B. The algorithm proceeds by successive subtractions in two loops: IF the test B ≤ A yields yes… …   Wikipedia

  • algorithm — algorithmic, adj. /al geuh ridh euhm/, n. a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor. [1890 95; var. of ALGORISM, by assoc. with Gk arithmós number. See ARITHMETIC] * * * Procedure …   Universalium

  • algorithm — A systematic process consisting of an ordered sequence of steps, each step depending on the outcome of the previous one. In clinical medicine, a step by step protocol for management of a health care problem …   Medical dictionary

  • algorithm — n. a sequential set of instructions used in calculations or problem solving. A reconstruction algorithm is a complex mathematical formula used by a computer to construct images from the data acquired by CT, MRI, or other scanners. A diagnostic… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • algorithm — noun /ˈælɡəɹɪðm/ A precise step by step plan for a computational procedure that begins with an input value and yields an output value in a finite number of steps. Informally, an algorithm is any well defined computational procedure that takes… …   Wiktionary

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