Some Algorithm Design Methods

Steve Tappel

Algorithm design may be defined as the task of finding an efficient data and control structure that implements a given input-output specification. This paper describes a methodology for control structure design, applicable to combinatorial algorithms involving search or minimization. The methodology includes an abstract process representation based on generators, constraints, mappings and orderings, and a set of plans and transformations by which to obtain an efficient algorithm. As an example, the derivation of a shortest-path algorithm is shown. The methods have been developed with automatic programming systems in mind, but should also be useful to human programmers.


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