Even we notice or not the algorithms are everywhere in our daily life. When we are making payment with credit card, while we are searching something at the search engine or while our smartphone camera automatically finds the faces at the camera and focusing on them, The algorithms are working in the background and making our lives easier.
We tend to think algorithms came into our lives by the computer age but it is wrong. Algorithms are helping us from the ancient times. For example, Euclid’s algorithm to find the greatest common divisor, which we learn at primary school math classes, probably one the oldest algorithm.
Algorithms are for solving the problem in structural, efficient and fastest way. So let’s look at some algorithms which make our lives easier.
One of the well-known algorithm of modern time is PageRank algorithm. It is a ranking algorithm and when you enter a query, it is sorting search results that you most likely interested in, based on ranking scores.
As it can be understood from the title, the job of the sorting algorithms are sorting things. Bubble sort algorithm is one the first iconic algorithm of all the time which is created in 1963 at System Development Corporation (First Software company of the world)
Sorting algorithms bring order to the world
“The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms”
Online dating is so popular at these days. Even studies show that over third of marriages started online. These dating websites are using matching algorithms. They are searching through your profiles and match people up based on their likes, dislikes, and personality. Another research also shows couples who met online tend to be happier and have longer marriages.
In 2012 for the first time, Nobel Prize was awarded because of an algorithm which is created by David Gale and Lloyd Shapley.
This matching algorithm is also being used for matching organ donors, placing students in high schools and universities.
Shortest Path Algorithm
Sometimes problems are very complex to solve. For example very well known, traveling salesman problem.
The salesman must visit all cities in the shortest way. But how to do it? The first solution comes to our mind is brute force solution of this problem – trying all possible routes and then decide which one is the shortest.
But unfortunately when the number of cities increased possible routes are also increasing exponentially. When we look at the numbers we will see better:
- 3 cities: There are only 3 possible routes
- 5 cities: There are 60 possible routes
- 6 cities: There are 360 possible routes
- 10 cities: There are 1.8 million possible routes
Machine Learning Algorithms
Now, we came into another breakpoint at technology. By using past data and computational power, computers can learn like us. We don’t need to program them explicitly. If we feed them with enough and appropriate data; they can find patterns in and they can learn from data.
Programs don’t have frozen mind anymore. They can learn and adapt themselves. We must be ready for the more automated world. Algorithms will shape our lives more and more in the future.
The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms. I liked this documentary on Netflix and I strongly suggest you watch If you have free time and one cup of coffee.