Understanding What An Algorithm Is

Posted on April 11, 2011 by Sara Hassler, GenerateMyAds.com, Resource Development Manager No Comments

Businesses who want to offer a higher level of service to their customers can turn to learning more about the ins and outs of the back-side or computer side of web content. One way to learn more is to understand that mathematical equations or calculations take place when the internet meets a surfer who randomly inputs information into either a search engine box or posts information on a website for viewing. The random”ness” of the internet, is not random at all. Rather it consists of a finite set of rules that dictate what and how people find and locate information on the World Wide Web. Become a web savvy online powerhouse and learn about what an algorithm does, how it works and why it’s so important. We’ve done the research for you and have re- scaled this complex process down to just the basics and how it applies to the written or entered word. 

What is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a method that’s used in mathematics and computer science to express a finite list of instructions and can also perform functions like calculations, data processing and automated reasoning. The history of algorithms dates back to 1928 when David Hilbert worked to solve the Entscheindungsproblem, also called the decision problem. Hilbert’s work is the first known partial formalization of what we call an Algorithm today.

There is no formal definition of what an algorithm is because an algorithm is not specific in itself, meaning that, algorithms can change and be developed to do more than one process. There are several generalized definitions that offer a basic understanding of what an algorithm does and two of them are below.

An Algorithm can be:

A specific set of exact rules that define a specific sequence of operations.

An Algorithm can also be:

A set of instructions on a process that generates output integers from random input integers.

In basic terms, we would consider that a generalized definition of an algorithm is this: If we input information into an algorithm correctly, we will receive an output response that has been calculated based on our input.

We welcome new ideas and you might inspire us for our next blog post! Share your thoughts and tips by posting comments for us. Thanks for reading!

By Sara Hassler


Resource Development Manager

Photographic Credit: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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