Computer Sciences

Algorithm quickly simulates a roll of loaded dice

The fast and efficient generation of random numbers has long been an important challenge. For centuries, games of chance have relied on the roll of a die, the flip of a coin, or the shuffling of cards to bring some randomness ...

Computer Sciences

Smartphone videos produce highly realistic 3-D face reconstructions

Normally, it takes pricey equipment and expertise to create an accurate 3-D reconstruction of someone's face that's realistic and doesn't look creepy. Now, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have pulled off the feat using ...

Computer Sciences

Researchers sniff out AI breakthroughs in mammal brains

When you smell an orange, the scent is most likely combined with several others: car exhaust, garbage, flowers, soap. Those smells bind simultaneously to the hundreds of receptors in your brain's olfactory bulb, obscuring ...

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Algorithm

In mathematics, computing, linguistics, and related subjects, an algorithm is a finite sequence of instructions, an explicit, step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, often used for calculation and data processing. It is formally a type of effective method in which a list of well-defined instructions for completing a task, will when given an initial state, proceed through a well-defined series of successive states, eventually terminating in an end-state. The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic; some algorithms, known as probabilistic algorithms, incorporate randomness.

A partial formalization of the concept began with attempts to solve the Entscheidungsproblem (the "decision problem") posed by David Hilbert in 1928. Subsequent formalizations were framed as attempts to define "effective calculability" (Kleene 1943:274) or "effective method" (Rosser 1939:225); those formalizations included the Gödel-Herbrand-Kleene recursive functions of 1930, 1934 and 1935, Alonzo Church's lambda calculus of 1936, Emil Post's "Formulation 1" of 1936, and Alan Turing's Turing machines of 1936–7 and 1939.

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