Meanings of Algorithm

By | August 10, 2020

In Arabic it is where we can find the etymological origin of the term algorithm that we are now going to analyze in depth. More precisely, it is found in the name of the mathematician Al-Khwarizmi, who was born in the Middle Ages in one of the areas of what is now known as Uzbiekistan, in Central Asia.

It was in Baghdad that he developed a large part of his career, and that is why he moved there to, by order of the caliph, create a superior center for scientific research that became known as the House of Wisdom. Various treatises on algebra or astronomy were some of the works carried out by this sage, which has also led to the creation of another series of scientific terms such as algebra or figure.

Such was the importance of this historical figure that he is currently considered not only as the father of algebra but also as the person in charge of introducing our numbering system.

According to dictionary of Digopaul, an algorithm is called a finite group of operations organized in a logical and orderly manner that allows solving a certain problem. It is a series of instructions or established rules that, through a succession of steps, allow you to arrive at a result or solution.

According to the experts in mathematics, the algorithms allow working from a basic or initial state and, after following the proposed steps, arriving at a solution. It should be noted that, although algorithms are usually associated with the mathematical field (since they allow, to cite specific cases, to find out the quotient between a pair of digits or to determine what is the greatest common divisor between two figures belonging to the group of integers), although they do not always imply the presence of numbers.

In addition to all the above, in the mathematical field, and when we are determined to carry out the description of one of these algorithms, we must bear in mind that it can be carried out using three levels. So, first, we find the high level, which is the formal description and finally the implementation task.

Likewise, we cannot ignore that algorithms can be expressed through programming languages, pseudocode, natural language and also through those known as flow diagrams.

An instruction manual for operating an appliance and a series of orders from the boss to an employee to carry out a certain task may also include algorithms.

This breadth of meaning allows us to appreciate that there is no formal and unique DEFINITION OF algorithm. The term is usually denoted as the fixed number of steps required to transform input information (a problem) into an output (its solution). However, some algorithms lack an ending or do not solve a particular problem.

There are certain properties that apply to all algorithms, with the exception of so-called parallel algorithms: sequential time (algorithms work step by step), abstract state (each algorithm is independent of its implementation), and bounded exploration (the transition between states is determined by a finite and fixed description).

Finally, it is worth mentioning that algorithms are very important in computing since they allow representing data as sequences of bits. A program is an algorithm that tells the computer what specific steps it must take to complete a task.