# How to Use Algorithms to Solve Problems?

An algorithm is a process or set of rules which must be followed to complete a particular task. This is basically the step-by-step procedure to complete any task. All the tasks are followed a particular algorithm, from making a cup of tea to make high scalable software. This is the way to divide a task into several parts. If we draw an algorithm to complete a task then the task will be easier to complete.

The algorithm is used for,

- To develop a framework for instructing computers.
- Introduced notation of basic functions to perform basic tasks.
- For defining and describing a big problem in small parts, so that it is very easy to execute.

**Characteristics of Algorithm**

- An algorithm should be defined clearly.
- An algorithm should produce at least one output.
- An algorithm should have zero or more inputs.
- An algorithm should be executed and finished in finite number of steps.
- An algorithm should be basic and easy to perform.
- Each step started with a specific indentation like, “Step-1”,
- There must be “Start” as the first step and “End” as the last step of the algorithm.

Let’s take an example to **make a cup of tea,**

**Step 1: Start**

**Step 2: **Take some water in a bowl.

**Step 3: **Put the water on a gas burner**.**

**Step 4: **Turn on the gas burner

**Step 5: **Wait for some time until the water is boiled.** **

**Step 6:** Add some tea leaves to the water according to the requirement.

**Step 7: **Then again wait for some time until the water is getting colorful as tea.

**Step 8:** Then add some sugar according to taste.

**Step 9:** Again wait for some time until the sugar is melted.

**Step 10: **Turn off the gas burner and serve the tea in cups with biscuits.

**Step 11: End**

Here is an algorithm for making a cup of tea. This is the same for computer science problems.

**There are some basics steps to make an algorithm:**

**Start**– Start the algorithm**Input**– Take the input for values in which the algorithm will execute.**Conditions**– Perform some conditions on the inputs to get the desired output.**Output –**Printing the outputs.**End –**End the execution.

Let’s take some examples of algorithms for computer science problems.

**Example 1. Swap two numbers with a** **third variable**

Step 1: Start

Step 2:Take 2 numbers as input.

Step 3:Declare another variable as“temp”.

Step 4:Store the first variable to “temp”.

Step 5:Store the second variable to the First variable.

Step 6:Store the “temp” variable to the 2nd variable.

Step 7:Print the First and second variables.

Step 8: End

**Example 2. Find the area of a rectangle**

Step 1: Start

Step 2:Take the Height and Width of the rectangle as input.

Step 3:Declare a variable as “area”

Step 4:Multiply Height and Width

Step 5:Store the multiplication to “Area”, (its look likearea = Height x Width)

Step 6:Print “area”;

Step 7: End

**Example 3. Find the greatest between 3 numbers.**

Step 1: Start

Step 2:Take 3 numbers as input, say A, B, and C.

Step 3:Check if(A>B and A>C)

Step 4:Then A is greater

Step 5:Print A

Step 6: Else

Step 7:Check if(B>A and B>C)

Step 8:Then B is greater

Step 9:Print B

Step 10:Else C is greater

Step 11: Print C

Step 12: End

**Advantages of Algorithm**

- An algorithm uses a definite procedure.
- It is easy to understand because it is a step-by-step definition.
- The algorithm is easy to debug if there is any error happens.
- It is not dependent on any programming language
- It is easier for a programmer to convert it into an actual program because the algorithm divides a problem into smaller parts.

**Disadvantages of Algorithms**

- An algorithm is Time-consuming, there is specific time complexity for different algorithms.
- Large tasks are difficult to solve in Algorithms because the time complexity may be higher, so programmers have to find a good efficient way to solve that task.
- Looping and branching are difficult to define in algorithms.

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