# What is an Algorithm: An Overview If a code is used to tell a computer what to do, an algorithm is the one employed before writing the same code. An algorithm is a list of rules one needs to follow to solve a problem. The rule of thumb is that algorithms require to have their steps in the right order to function correctly. Think about an algorithm like putting on clothes in the morning. What if one wears a jacket before the shirt? The jacket would be on top of the shirt, and that is just plain ridiculous. When one writes an algorithm, it is necessary to consider the order of the instructions.

The algorithm is considered as the primary technique used to get the job done. In computer programming, each algorithm has its advantages and disadvantages in different kinds of situations. Sorting is a place where a lot of research has been tirelessly done because all computers exert a great deal of effort when sorting lists. The five different algorithms used in sorting include bin sort, merge sort, bubble sort, shell sort, and quicksort. If one has countless integer values between 1 and 10 and one needs to sort them, the bin sort is usually the right kind of algorithm to use. If a person has several book titles, the quicksort might be the better algorithm to take advantage of.

Types of Algorithms

Algorithms can be categorized into three types based on their structures. The first one is the sequence type, a kind of algorithm that is characterized by a series of steps that can be executed one after the other. Next to this is the branching type, an algorithm that is exemplified by the “if-then” problems. If the condition is proven right, the output will be A If the condition is proven false, then the output will be B. This kind of algorithm is also referred to as the “selection type.”

Finally, there is the loop, which is the process that may be repeatedly performed under a specific condition. The loop algorithm is represented by “while” and “for” problems and is the type that will end after several loops. This algorithm is also recognized as the “repetition type.”

Applications of Algorithms

Algorithms can be used in many situations, from writing the OS of the system to creating sophisticated search engines. These also extend to complex topics like machine learning and artificial intelligence. Essentially, the use of algorithms involves various natural language processing and multiple pattern classifications.