An algorithm is a mechanical and completely reliable
procedure or set of instructions for completing an operation in a finite
number of steps. For example, "To unlock a door with an unfamiliar set of
keys, try each one until one of them does unlock." Another example, from
logic, is truth-tables, which determine whether a formula is a tautology.
In mathematical contexts, an algorithm is a mechanical procedure for
computing a result or outcome. Use of an algorithm
always provides a solution to a problem, unlike an heuristic.
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