Algorithm  What is it and what is it for? ▷ 2020

Algorithms They are widely used, and there are many inclinations depending on the area where they are discussed. In this case the type of algorithm that we mention is at the level of computing, that by making a small introduction, we tell you that it is the most used, before even any program.

Part of its usefulness is given because is the easiest way to do a schedule, since it is much easier to understand it visually. If you want to know a little more about this topic, We invite you to read below, because in this post there is very good material for you.

Here you will find, from what is an algorithm and its most common characteristics so that we can differentiate it from any other computer programming method, even what are its parts and types that exist today.

What is an algorithm and what is it used for in computing?

The algorithms are lines of instructionsThey are like a step by step of the things that must be done, but for nothing in the world we can compare them with the programming languages. Thanks to them, many processes can be fully carried out, complying with even the order of response in some situations.

Its structure contemplates a set of ordered and finite steps, which allow the solution of problems, and in some cases in decision-making.

The algorithms are represented in flowcharts or flowcharts, where each figure includes a symbology. Its function in a nutshell is to do some previous arrangements of programming. It is also seen as sort of a programmatic draft, since does not include languagesbut rather what we want done in the correct order.

What are the main characteristics of a computer algorithm?


Algorithms are very useful and meets the following characteristics:

  • It is necessary to indicate in them the order in which actions should be performed, that is, step by step.
  • It is defined, that is, it does not matter how many times an algorithm is followed, because the result will be the same.
  • They must not be infinite algorithms, they must be finite, since it has a start and end of operations.
  • It must be what more readable possible, because it is the one that will allow us to understand and read it as easily as possible.
  • The algorithms are defined in three parts: input, prubbing, salida

We can use as an example, a cookbook that explains:

  • Entry: Ingredients and utensils
  • Processes: Preparation of the recipe in the kitchen
  • Departure: Plate completion

What are the parts of a computer algorithm?

To be more explicit with the parts of an algorithm, we leave the following:

  • Entry: It is known as input to all the information that an algorithm gives, that is, all those values ​​with which it will work.
  • Process: are all the calculations we need, so that we can start from a data that we call input, until we achieve get an expected result.
  • Departure: it is known as exit, to all the final result obtained through the process.

Types of algorithms How are they classified?

Algorithms are classified according to type, such as we show them below:

Computational algorithms

They are the types of algorithms whose resolution depends clearly on the calculation, and that are developed by means of a calculator or computer without any trouble.

Non-computational algorithms

It is the algorithm that does not require a computer process to solve steps or problems, whose steps for resolution they are instructed by a human being.

Qualitative algorithm

It is the algorithm that allows the resolution without the involvement of numerical calculations, but if with the logical and / or formal sequences.

Quantitative algorithms

It is the complete opposite of the algorithm we showed above, because it depends of mathematical calculations to give a resolution.

What are the main expression methods of an algorithm?

Of the many ways that algorithms can be expressed, we can find natural language, pseudocode, flowchart and programming languages, but these are not the only ones, because there are still more. Although natural languages they are enigmatic and extensive.

So that some incompressible conditions can be avoided, pseudocodes and flow diagrams are used, so that it can be clearer when interpreting them, with these expressions we present how they are and what the structure of the algorithms is, also including the languages ​​of specific programming.

The algorithms use a programming language that is divided as follows:

  • High level description: It is where the problems are established, then the mathematical model is selected and the algorithm is explained verbally, although some include illustrations …
  • Formal descriptions: This is where pseudocodes are used, useful for describing the sequence of each of the steps to follow to find the solution.
  • Implementation: Algorithms expressed in specific programming languages ​​or of a specific object are shown, fully capable of carrying out a series of instructions or steps.

In order to show that the algorithms are correct we must include a theorem, which allows us to give an opinion depending on the result of the study that we carry out.

Natural language

They are those that are generated spontaneously in a group of speakers with the purpose of communicating, something that is totally different from other languages. Such, can be a constructed, or simply formal or simple programming languages, used for the study of a formal logic.

Written algorithms have the main characteristic of following a process for the execution of common and logical actions, until a specific problem is solved.

The disadvantages that we can present when making an algorithm with a language are:

  • Ambiguity
  • Not universality
  • Amplitude of it, which generates many errors.


Is the one who does the high-level description of the algorithms, which we can use to make a mixture of natural languages, with some syntactic conventions that are typical of the same language, such as assignments, cycles and some conditions, although it is not standardized.

It is generally used for describe algorithms in books or scientific publications, it is also the intermediate product of the development of an algorithm. This has a great advantage over these and that is that the algorithms are described in pseudocodes that require less storage capacity.

It is designed thinking about making it easier for people to understand the algorithms, on the other hand we can omit some irrelevant details that are highly useful for some implementation.

Pseudocodes are based on different conventions, which are based on concrete programming language syntax. Although in some cases, it is understandable without disclosing or using a specific programming environment.

Algorithm Examples How to easily identify one?

So that you understand a little more about this, we leave these simple examples:

Algorithm for choosing party shoes:

  • Need the shoe and know which one to look for
  • Search in store
  • Verify that they are the ones we are looking for

Yes (go to next step), No (return to previous step)

  • Is it the size we are looking for?

YES (Next step), NO (Return to third step)

  • Can we pay your cost?

YES (next step), NO (return to step 3)

  • Buy the pair of shoes
  • End

Algorithm for preparing dinner:

  • Know what we are going to cook
  • Find the ingredients for cooking
  • Make the preparation of each
  • Finish with the preparation
  • Eat
  • End

Before finishing this article, we leave you some symbologies that are used in a flow-gram of algorithms, so that you can quickly identify one.

flowchart symbols

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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