What is algorithm? How is it different from flow chart?

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An algorithm is a finite sequence of well-defined instructions, typically used to solve a class of specific problems or to perform a computation.

The following are the features of a good algorithm;

Precision: a good algorithm must have a certain outlined steps. The steps should be exact enough, and not varying.

  • Uniqueness: each step taken in the algorithm should give a definite result as stated by the writer of the algorithm. The results should not fluctuate by any means.
  • Feasibility: the algorithm should be possible and practicable in real life. It should not be abstract or imaginary.
  • Input: a good algorithm must be able to accept a set of defined input.
  • Output: a good algorithm should be able to produce results as output, preferably solutions.
  • Finiteness: the algorithm should have a stop after a certain number of instructions.
  • Generality: the algorithm must apply to a set of defined inputs.

The difference between algorithm and flowchart is

SN Algorithm Flowchart
1. Algorithm is step by step procedure to solve the problem. Flowchart is a diagram created by different shapes to show the flow of data.
2. Algorithm is complex to understand. Flowchart is easy to understand.
3. In algorithm plain text are used. In flowchart, symbols/shapes are used.
4. Algorithm is easy to debug. Flowchart it is hard to debug.
5. Algorithm is difficult to construct. Flowchart is simple to construct.
6. Algorithm does not follow any rules. Flowchart follows rules to be constructed.
7. Algorithm is the pseudo code for the program. Flowchart is just graphical representation of that logic.
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