algorithm

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al·go·rithm

 (ăl′gə-rĭth′əm)
n.
A finite set of unambiguous instructions that, given some set of initial conditions, can be performed in a prescribed sequence to achieve a certain goal and that has a recognizable set of end conditions.

[Variant (probably influenced by arithmetic) of algorism.]

al′go·rith′mic (-rĭth′mĭk) adj.
al′go·rith′mi·cal·ly adv.
Word History: Because of its popularity over the last century, one might figure algorithm for a new coinage. The source of algorithm, however, is not Silicon Valley but Khwarizm, a region near the Aral Sea in south-central Asia and the birthplace of the ninth-century mathematician Muhammad ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi (780?-850?). Al-Khwarizmi, "the Khwarizmian," who later lived in Baghdad, wrote a treatise on what is called algorism, or the use of Arabic numerals for mathematical computation. Despite the name by which the Arabic numerals are known in Europe, these symbols, as well as the methods for using them, were actually developed in ancient India. Europeans learned to use the numerals, however, through treatises written in Arabic by mathematicians working in the Muslim world. Algorism, the English word for computation with Arabic numerals, is derived from Al-Khwarizmi's name. The word algorithm originated as a variant spelling of algorism, probably under the influence of the word arithmetic or its Greek source arithmos, "number." With the development of sophisticated mechanical computing devices in the 20th century, algorithm was adopted as a convenient word for a recursive mathematical procedure, the computer's stock-in-trade. In its new life as a computer term, algorithm, no longer a variant of algorism, nevertheless reminds us of the debt that modern technology owes to the scientists and scholars of ancient and medieval times.

algorithm

(ˈælɡəˌrɪðəm)
n
1. (Mathematics) a logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problem. Compare heuristic
2. (Mathematics) logic maths a recursive procedure whereby an infinite sequence of terms can be generated
French name: algorism
[C17: changed from algorism, through influence of Greek arithmos number]
ˌalgoˈrithmic adj
ˌalgoˈrithmically adv

al•go•rithm

(ˈæl gəˌrɪð əm)

n.
1. a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor.
2. a sequence of steps designed for programming a computer to solve a specific problem.
[1890–95; alter. of algorism, by association with Greek arithmós number. compare arithmetic]
al`go•rith′mic, adj.

al·go·rithm

(ăl′gə-rĭth′əm)
A step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, especially a mathematical rule or procedure used to compute a desired result.

algorithm

any methodology for solving a certain kind of problem.
See also: Mathematics
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.algorithm - a precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problemalgorithm - a precise rule (or set of rules) specifying how to solve some problem
formula, rule - (mathematics) a standard procedure for solving a class of mathematical problems; "he determined the upper bound with Descartes' rule of signs"; "he gave us a general formula for attacking polynomials"
sorting algorithm - an algorithm for sorting a list
stemming algorithm, stemmer - an algorithm for removing inflectional and derivational endings in order to reduce word forms to a common stem
Translations
алгоритъм
algoritmus
algoritmi
algoritam
algoritma
reiknirit
アルゴリズム
algoritmas
algoritm

algorithm

[ˈælgəˌrɪðəm] Nalgoritmo m

algorithm

[ˈælgərɪðəm] nalgorithme m
computer algorithm → algorithme informatique genetic algorithm

algorithm

nAlgorithmus m

algorithm

[ˈælgəˌrɪðm] n (Comput) → algoritmo

al·go·rithm

n. algoritmo, método aritmético y algebraico que se usa en el diagnóstico y tratamiento de una enfermedad.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among his topics are basic postulates and axioms for algorithms, comparing and evaluating the power and classes of algorithms, problems that people solve and related properties of algorithms, and software and hardware verification and testing.
Using the discrete determination time (DDT) method, they consider invariant sets and global boundedness of some algorithms, their convergence conditions, the relationship between a stochastic discrete time algorithm and the corresponding DDT algorithm using block algorithms, and the chaotic and robust properties of algorithms.
Proofs and mathematical derivations are given only where they illustrate key steps or properties of algorithms.