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A description of the specific steps needed to solve a particular problem in an unambiguous way, expressed in an abstract form.

Algorithms are descriptions of the computations steps needed to solve a problem. They have well defined inputs and specific outputs that meet the given characteristics. Algorithms can be expressed in flowcharts or pseudo-code. To be useful to a computer, these must be translated into a specific programming language.

Questions with the algorithm tag should be programming language independent, though they may use a specific language as an example.

More information on algorithms can be found on the wikipedia page: