An Algorithm is a set of instructions and steps that describe how to accomplish something. Algorithms work as guidelines for solving programming challenges. An algorithm usually include definition of the problem to be worked upon, collection of the data to be used and processing it, a working logical method to be used and the final solution.
An algorithm helps to see through the task and simplifying it in the accurate way without wasting time. Below are the top 6 algorithms you should if you are a developer.
1. Divide and conquer
This algorithm involves recursively breaking down a task into two or more sub-tasks of the similar or related type until they become simple enough to be solved directly.
2. Sorting Algorithms
This is a way of organizing and arranging items into a specific order. It can be based on length, alphabetic order or something else. Sorting algorithms are further categorized;
- Bubble Sort. This is the simplest and suitable for small sets of data. This is done by comparing elements that are next to each and repeatedly swap them if they are not in the same order.
- Merge Sort. This works basing on the divide and conquer technique. It divides the data into two sub lists. Then those sub lists are divided further until each sub list consists one element. Hereafter the sub lists are merged again basing on their order.
- Quick Sort. As the name suggests, this algorithm is much faster than the other algorithms in doing their work. It is also based on the divide and rule technique like the Merge sort. Here you pick the central element (usually called pivot). The data is broken down into smaller parts using the pivot you selected as their center.
- Heap Sort. Here you select the minimum or maximum element from your data set and remove it (put it in a data set of sorted elements). You do this repeatedly till when all elements are in the sorted data set.
- Other types of Sorting algorithms include Insertion sort, Selection sort, Radix sort
3. Search Algorithm
Here you look for an element from a data structure and bring it out. Search algorithms can be classified into;
- Binary Search. You search for the element from the data set and divide it into an interval. You do this till when you find the element you are looking for.
- Breadth First Search. This is used to graph data, for searching trees or traversing structures. The algorithm starts by marking the starting node and then moves to the nearest node. It continues till all the node are passed through. Then it returns the node that satisfies specific conditions.
4. Dynamic programming.
This method is used to solve complex tasks by breaking them down into simpler sub tasks. Each sub task is solved once and its answer is kept to avoid doing it again
5. Hashing # Algorithm
This is a mathematical algorithm that takes an input of data of any random length and changes its form into a string of fixed length.
6. Recursion Algorithm
Here you solve a problem and the solution depends on solutions of the smaller occurrences of that same problem