Definition of algorithm
: a procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently involves repetition of an operation; broadly : a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a computer a search algorithm
algorithmicplay \ˌal-gə-ˈrith-mik\ adjective
algorithmicallyplay \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Recent Examples of algorithm from the Web
That includes setting up shop online to bypass human intermediaries, asking customers a few brief questions and using outside databases and algorithms to quickly assess a customer’s riskiness.
Jet is perhaps best known for an algorithm that encourages bulk buying, an area where Walmart.com has fallen short and could energize its sagging online growth.
Fifth Harmony’s album, especially, reflects a group of impressive singers fighting against technology and algorithms designed to flatten them into a homogenized whole.
Successful online playlist makers such as Pandora continually fine-tune algorithms to figure out what individual users want to hear based on what they’ve liked before.
These challenges make new kinds of data — information that can be gathered indirectly using algorithms and novel sources — particularly valuable.
Random American: American uses an algorithm to assign zones, and while representatives won't say exactly what the system looks for, its goal is to ensure as many passengers can sit and stow bags simultaneously as possible.
But the company is still too easily tricked into listing lead gens, high up, even after years of redesigns and algorithm adjustments, critics say.
As networks of human beings displace search algorithms, editors are discovering that not just headlines but overall quality matters more and more.
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What Does algorithm Mean?
The current term of choice for a problem-solving procedure, algorithm, is commonly used nowadays for the set of rules a machine (and especially a computer) follows to achieve a particular goal. It does not always apply to computer-mediated activity, however. The term may as accurately be used of the steps followed in making a pizza or solving a Rubik’s Cube as for computer-powered data analysis.
Algorithm is often paired with words specifying the activity for which a set of rules have been designed. A search algorithm, for example, is a procedure that determines what kind of information is retrieved from a large mass of data. An encryption algorithm is a set of rules by which information or messages are encoded so that unauthorized persons cannot read them.
Though first attested in the early 20th century (and, until recently, used strictly as a term of mathematics and computing), algorithm has a surprisingly deep history. It was formed from algorism “the system of Arabic numerals,” a word that goes back to Middle English and ultimately stems from the name of a 9th-century Persian mathematician, abu-Jaʽfar Mohammed ibn-Mūsa al-Khuwārizmi, who did important work in the fields of algebra and numeric systems.
Origin and Etymology of algorithm
alteration of Middle English algorisme, from Old French & Medieval Latin; Old French, from Medieval Latin algorismus, from Arabic al-khuwārizmi, from al-Khwārizmī flourished a.d. 825 Islamic mathematician
First Known Use: 1926
ALGORITHM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of algorithm for English Language Learners
: a set of steps that are followed in order to solve a mathematical problem or to complete a computer process
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