Python algorithms are indispensable tools for any software engineer or data scientist. Algorithms are not language-specific and have no standardized rules dictating how they should be written. This means that solutions we’ve used for decades can be applied as needed to a Python program. There are several types of algorithms that are useful in Python.
4 Well-Known Python Algorithms
- Tree traversal
- Graph algorithms
What Are the Types of Algorithms in Python?
Python can use a wide variety of algorithms, but some of the most well-known are tree traversal, sorting, search and graph algorithms.
- Tree traversal algorithms are designed to visit all nodes of a tree graph, starting from the root and traversing each node according to the instructions laid out. Traversal can occur in order, with the algorithm traversing the tree from node to edge (branches), or from the edges to the root.
- Sorting algorithms provide various ways of arranging data in a particular format, with common algorithms including bubble sort, merge sort, insertion sort and shell sort.
- Searching algorithms check and retrieve elements from different data structures, with variations including linear search and binary search.
- Graph algorithms traverse graphs from their edges in a depth-first (DFS) or breadth-first (BFS) manner.
How Do You Write an Algorithm in Python?
Algorithms written in Python or any other language are most commonly written in a step-by-step manner that clearly defines the instructions a program needs to run.
Though there is no defined standard as to how you should write algorithm, there are basic shared code constructs between languages that we often use to create an algorithm, such as loops and control flow.
Algorithms are written to solve problems and overcome challenges in development, so ensuring that a problem is well defined is key to writing a solution. Oftentimes, there may be multiple solutions to a given problem and many algorithms may be implemented at once as a way of helping the program find the best solution available.
However the solution is implemented, an algorithm should contain six characteristics.
How to Write a Python Algorithm: 6 Characteristics
- It is unambiguous and has clear steps.
- The algorithm has zero or more well-defined inputs.
- It must have one or more defined outputs.
- The algorithm must terminate after a finite number of steps.
- It must be feasible and exist using available resources.
- The algorithm should be written independently of all programming code.
Is Python Good for Developing and Implementing Algorithms?
Yes, Python is a powerful programming language that handles all aspects of algorithms very well.
Python is one of the most powerful, yet accessible, programming languages in existence, and it's very good for implementing algorithms. The language has a simple, clean syntax that will look similar to the pseudocode used in algorithms, which are not language-specific. The big advantage here is that the user can focus more on understanding and solving the algorithm versus spending a lot of time on memorizing the syntax of the languages being used.
Additionally, Python is very good for working with and understanding data structures. It also offers a wealth of libraries and frameworks used heavily in data science and machine learning.