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algorithm

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English

Etymology

From French algorithme; from the Old French algorisme ("the Arabic numeral system"), a modification likely due to a mistaken connection with Greek ἀριθμός (number); from Medieval Latin algorismus, a mangled transliteration of the name of the Islamic Persian mathematician al-Khwārizmī (Arabic: الخوارزمي, "native of Khwarezm.")

Alternative spellings

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ˈælgəɹɪðm/, SAMPA: /"{lg@rIDm/

Noun

Singular
algorithm

Plural
{{{1}}}

algorithm ({{{1}}})
  1. 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.
    • 1990, Cormen, Leiserson, and Rivest, Introduction to Algorithms: page 1. Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 1999 (23rd printing)
      Informally, an algorithm is any well-defined computational procedure that takes some value, or set of values, as input and produces some value, or set of values, as output. An algorithm is thus a sequence of computational steps that transform the input into the output.

Usage notes

  • Though some technical definitions require that an algorithm always terminate in a finite number of steps, this distinction is not generally observed in practice.

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