An algorithm (pronounced AL-go-rith-um) is a procedure or formula for solving a problem.
A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem.
When you are telling the computer what to do, you also get to choose how it’s going to do it. That’s where computer algorithms come in. The algorithm is the basic technique used to get the job done. Let’s follow an example to help get an understanding of the algorithm concept.
Let’s say that you have a friend arriving at the airport, and your friend needs to get from the airport to your house. Here are four different algorithms that you might give your friend for getting to your home:
The taxi algorithm:
- Go to the taxi stand.
- Get in a taxi.
- Give the driver my address.