What are the benefits of using Algorithms?

The use of algorithms provides a number of benefits. One of these benefits is in the development of the procedure itself, which involves identification of the processes, major decision points, and variables necessary to solve the problem. Developing an algorithm allows and even forces examination of the solution process in a rational manner. Identification of the processes and decision points reduces the task into a series of smaller steps of more manageable size. Problems that would be difficult or impossible to solve in entirety can be approached as a series of small, solvable sub-problems.

By using an algorithm, decision making becomes a more rational process. In addition to making the process more rational, use of algorithm will make the process more efficient and more consistent. Efficiency is an inherent result of the analysis and specification process. Consistency comes from both the use of the same specified process and increased skill in applying the process. An algorithm serves as a mnemonic device and helps ensure that variables or parts of the problem are not ignored. Presenting the solution process as an algorithm allows more precise communication. Finally, separation of the procedure steps facilitates division of labour and development of expertise.

A final benefit of the use of an algorithm comes from the improvement it makes possible. If the problem solver does not know what was done, he or she will not know what was done wrong. As time goes by and results are compared with goals, the existence of a specified solution process allows identification of weaknesses and errors in the process. Reduction of a task to a specified set of steps or algorithm is an important part of analysis, control and evaluation.

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