## What is Algorithm?

- An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure to solve a problem in a finite number of steps.
- We can also explain Algorithm as It is a set of steps designed to perform a specific task or solve a problem.
- Branching and repetition are included in the steps of an algorithm.
- This branching and repetition depend on the problem for which Algorithm is developed.
- All the steps of Algorithm during the definition should be written in a human-understandable language which does not depend on any programming language.
- We can choose any programming language to implement the Algorithm.
- Pseudocode and flow chart are popular ways to represent an algorithm.

### Key Features of an Algorithm

**Step-by-Step Procedure**: An algorithm is a sequence of well-defined steps which provides a clear path to solving a problem.**Branching and Repetition**: These are integral parts of an algorithm, allowing it to make decisions (branching) and repeat certain actions (repetition) based on specific conditions.**Language Independence**: While defined in a human-understandable form, an algorithm is not restricted to any specific programming language. It’s often expressed in pseudocode or flowcharts for universal comprehension.**Finite Operations**: Every algorithm must complete its task in a finite number of steps, and each step must be feasible to execute.

## An algorithm must satisfy the following criteria

**1. Input:** An algorithm should have zero or more but should be a finite number of inputs. We can also say that it is essential for any algorithm before starting. Input should be given to it initially before the Algorithm begins.

**2. Output****:** An algorithm must give at least one required result from the given set of input values. These output values are known as the solution to a problem.

**3. Definiteness:** Each step must be clear, unambiguous, and precisely defined.

**4. Finiteness:** Finiteness means Algorithm should be terminated after a finite number of steps. Also, each step should be finished in a finite amount of time.

**5. Effectiveness:** Each step of the Algorithm must be feasible i.e., it should be practically possible to perform the action. Every Algorithm is generally expected to be effective.

## Characteristics of an Algorithm

**1). Input:** An algorithm must have either 0 or more inputs.**2). Output:** An algorithm should have 1 or more desired output.**3). Unambiguous:** Every Algorithm should be unambiguous and clear. It means that it’s every step, and input/output should be clear and must have only one meaning.**4). Feasibility:** Algorithm should be feasible with the available resource.**5). Finiteness:** Algorithm should be terminated after a finite number of steps.**6). Independent:** Algorithm should have a step-by-step direction of each level, which is independent of programming language.

## Example of Algorithm

**Sorting Algorithms**: Like Bubble Sort, Merge Sort, which organize data in a specific order.**Search Algorithms**: Such as Binary Search, used to find specific data within a structured dataset.

## Representation of Algorithm

We can represent Algorithms using:

**Pseudocode**: A simplified description of the algorithm’s steps.**Flowcharts**: Visual diagrams illustrating the flow of the algorithm with decision points, paths, and conclusions.

## Importance in Computing

Algorithms are vital in computing for developing efficient and effective solutions to complex problems. They form the basis of software development, data analysis, and much more, making them an indispensable part of the technology.