In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm (i// al-gə-ri-dhəm) is a self-contained step-by-step set of operations to be performed. Algorithms exist that perform calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.
An algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Starting from an initial state and initial input (perhaps empty), the instructions describe acomputation that, when executed, proceeds through a finite number of well-defined successive states, eventually producing "output" and terminating at a final ending state. The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic; some algorithms, known as randomized algorithms, incorporate random input.