algorithm


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 ?
Algorithmia offers a turnkey platform that gives algorithm developers the ability to publish their algorithms as a live, hosted web service, make them easily discoverable via a catalog and search interface, make them easily testable via a live console, and set the price per call for their algorithms -- reaping the rewards of their work.
Dijkstra's SPF algorithm (Dijkstra, 1959) is "Single source--All destination" algorithm known as accurate, but greedy algorithm.
S government adopted the algorithm as its encryption technique in October 2000 after a long standardization process, replacing the DES encryption algorithm.
After that initial choice, the algorithm produces each new pseudorandom number by multiplying the preceding number by 17, dividing the result by 13, and taking the remainder.
This test run, reported in the March 2003 issue of Bioinformatics, showed that KL clustering performed better at sorting microarray data than the standard method of hierarchical clustering, which uses a different algorithm to measure the similarity of genes.
The algorithm for automatic diameter estimation takes a two-stage approach:
Algorithms are at the heart of computerized encryption systems, which encode everything from electronic mail to the secret personal identification numbers, or PINs, that people use with bank teller machines.
By streamlining the process of algorithm alteration, an increasing amount of power is being placed in the hands of the buy-side trader.
Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 197, Advanced Encryption Standard, describes the AES algorithm as a symmetric block cipher that can encrypt (encipher) and decrypt (decipher) information.
In the latter case, researchers describe the algorithm as taking no more than polynomial time.
MSR operates directly on the data path by encoding individual packets based on its pattern discovery algorithm.
IRE products use the Data Encryption Standard (DES), which is the preferred encryption algorithm for private industry and government applications.