What Are Some Examples of Simple Algorithms?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 10, 2020 8:21:44 PM ET

Some simple algorithms commonly used in computer science are linear search algorithms, arrays and bubble sort algorithms. Insertion sorting algorithms are also often used by computer scientists.


An algorithm is a step-by-step set of instructions intended to carry out a specific task. Algorithms may be expressed in infinitely many ways so long as the interpreting program performs the same set of instructions. For example, the way a particular sorting algorithm is written varies from one programming language to another, even though the individual operations to be carried out remain the same. One of the simplest algorithms in computer science is the linear search, which searches sequentially through a set of inputs to determine a matching value. The binary search is another simple type of search algorithm. Binary search works by dividing a set into two distinct subsets to discover a value.

Bubble sorting algorithms are the most basic methods used to sort a collection of values. They work by going through an array and comparing two values at once, then swapping those values if necessary. Insertion sort algorithms are also used for sorting through data sets, and they are always at least as efficient as a bubble sort algorithm. Insertion sorting is usually used for small data sets and sets that have already been mostly sorted.