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The term ‘Algorithm’ refers to the sequence of instructions that must be followed to solve a problem. In other terms, It is a logical representation of the instructions which should be executed to perform a meaningful task.


An algorithm has certain characteristics. These are as follows:

  1. Each instruction should be unique and concise.
  2. Each instruction should be relative in nature and should not be repeated infinitely.
  3. Repetition of same tasks should be avoided.
  4. The result should be available to the user after the algorithm terminates.


Thus, an algorithm is any well-defined computational procedure, along with a specified set of allowable inputs, that generates some value or set of values as output.


After an algorithm has been designed, its efficiency must be analyzed. This involves determining whether the algorithm is economical in the use of computer resources i.e. CPU time and memory. The term used to refer to the memory required by an algorithm is memory space and the term used to refer to the computational time is the running time.


The importance of efficiency of an algorithm is in the correctness i.e. ,does it always produce the correct result, and program complexity which considers both the difficulty of implementing an algorithm along with its efficiency.