Talk:Algorithm

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Former featured article Algorithm is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on July 20, 2004.
e·h·w·Stock post message.svg To-do:
  • Cleanup the article.

-- moved to section in talk page --

  • Rewrite the history section
    • Ancient algorithms (Babylonians, Euclid, Sieve)
    • Formalization -- done -- (Godel's and Herbrand's λ-calculus (cf footnote in Church's paper, p. 90 in Undecidable ), Church's theorem (1936) (p. 88ff in Undecidable), Post's "process" (1936) (p. 289ff in Undecidable), Turing's machine (1936-1937) (p. 116ff in Undecidable), J.B. Rosser's definition of "effective method" in terms of "a machine" (1939)(on p. 225-226 in Undecidable), Kleene proposing the "Church-Turing thesis" based on the papers of Church and Turing cited here (1943) (p. 273-274 in Undecidable)

On the introduction[edit]

I think that in this article basics should be included for beginners.Link:logarithms,Euclidean vectors

"Most algorithms are intended to be implemented as computer programs."[edit]

"Most algorithms are intended to be implemented as computer programs. However, algorithms are also implemented by other means, such as in a biological neural network (for example, the human brain implementing arithmetic or an insect looking for food), in an electrical circuit, or in a mechanical device."

Where is the evidence for this? This sounds like a view of a computationalist. Yoga Conflagration (talk) 19:36, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Can you suggest a rewrite? E.g. "The most common algorithms are hand-calculations for [arguably, source?] common arithmetic computations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, square-root and exponentiation. Algorithms are implemented as computer programs [source? See the Bohm-Jacopini theorem ] and by other means, such as computer programs, biological neural networks (for example, the human brain implementing arithmetic or an insect looking for food), and [combinatorial and sequential] electrical circuits , or a mechanical device ." Bill Wvbailey (talk) 23:45, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Facebook and Google and Coatracks[edit]

Does anyone else think the sections near the end dedicated to criticism of Google and Facebook algorithms are a huge WP:COATRACK? They strike me as out of place with the style and structure of the rest of the article and overemphasize some of the least understood examples of a very broad subject. I'll probably remove most of that unless someone presents a good reason why I shouldn't. The Legal concerns subsection could be retained by merging it into the primary Legal issues section. Furrykiller (talk) 20:46, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

I completely agree that this article shouldn't be discussing those issues. However, lately people have been saying things like "it's the algorithm" to mean "some automated process is responsible, not human judgement". There is a lot to say about that issue, and we need to find some place to discuss it, cross-referencing from here. --Macrakis (talk) 19:56, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Captions under illustrations[edit]

The captions are there because the examples are used throughout the text. Read the article. See where the captions are used later. Nobody is making you read them. Just because you don't want to read them doesn't mean someone else will not find them useful; for example, the caption under the first figure illustrates how to read a (classic) "algorithm" (remember, that is what this article is about). Maybe other editors have a take on this. I will continue to revert until a discussion ensues. Wvbailey (talk) 20:42, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

WP:CAP makes it clear how captions should be used. If someone wants to see a more complete discussion of a specific image they can go to the image file to see a more complete description. Long captions, on material not relevant to the current article are distracting and a waste of space. There is no need to repeat information in the text of the article in a caption. GiovanniSidwell (talk) 14:28, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

No one cares about "space" in this context. The body of the text refers to the illustrations, so the explanations under them are useful as reference, without the cumbersome and utterly-distracting step (to say the least) of having to go to the image file to read a caption. I've never read an article that required such a step. (This would be like encountering an article in the print Scientific American with uncaptioned illustrations that require you to go to their website in order to read the captions; think about this in context of someone printing off a hard cc of the article, which is quite likely). Your last point may be valid, if in fact the info is also in the text. Let's wait awhile to see if any other editors have a take on this. Wvbailey (talk) 19:04, 20 October 2017 (UTC)