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Essential Algorithms: A Practical Approach to Computer Algor

Author: Rod Stephens

Publisher: Wiley


Publish Date: August 12, 2013

ISBN-10: 1118612108

Pages: 624

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Algorithm Basics

Before you jump into the study of algorithms, you need a little background. To begin with, you need to know that, simply stated, an algorithm is a recipe for getting something done. It defines the steps for performing a task in a certain way.

That definition seems simple enough, but no one writes algorithms for performing extremely simple tasks. No one writes instructions for how to access the fourth element in an array. It is just assumed that this is part of the definition of an array and that you know how to do it (if you know how to use the programming language in question).

Normally people write algorithms only for difficult tasks. Algorithms explain how to find the solution to a complicated algebra problem, how to find the shortest path through a network containing thousands of streets, or how to find the best mix of hundreds of investments to optimize profits.

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