A computer algorithm is simply a set of step-by-step instructions that tell your computer how to accomplish a task. And just like any other kind of task you might perform during your day, there is more than one way for a computer to accomplish a given task. For example, computers spend a great deal of time sorting lists and can do so via bin sort, merge sort, shell sort, bubble sort, quicksort or one of many other methods. What algorithm you choose to tell a computer to use to achieve a goal largely depends on the task and on the relative advantages and disadvantages of each method.
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