Algorithmic Overview: Abstract
This paper will be an investigative overview of one of today’s most ubiquitous and often misunderstood mathematical/logistical tools: the algorithm. An expansive subject that can quickly become complicated and lost in jargon, this research will work as a general overview, moving through key concepts while providing a few detailed examples for illustrative purposes. Beginning with an explanation of the general purpose of algorithms, and their logical structure, a brief survey of applications, including search engines like those of Google; realistic graphics, animation and effects in movies and video games; data-mining and cataloging (nsa, cia, Facebook); dating website bio-matching; hight-speed stock market trading (buy/sell, ‘short selling’); physics, astronomy, including some large-scale modeling systems. Discussion of evolutionary algorithm function and component parts follows, with examples of effects. Lastly, pitfalls and real-world exemplars are provided, detailing instances of algorithms gone amok and aftermath(s) — for instance, the financial “flash crash” of 2010.