Introduction to Algorithm and Flow Chart

Intelligence is one of the key characteristics which differentiate a human being from other living creatures on the earth. Basic intelligence covers day to day problem solving and making strategies to handle different situations which keep arising in day to day life. One person goes Bank to withdraw money. After knowing the balance in his account, he/she decides to with draw the entire amount from his account but he/she has to leave minimum balance in his account. Here deciding about how much amount he/she may with draw from the account is one of the examples of the basic intelligence. During the process of solving any problem, one tries to find the necessary steps to be taken in a sequence. In this Unit you will develop your understanding about problem solving and approaches.

Problem Solving

Can you think of a day in your life which goes without problem solving? Answer to this question is of course, No. In our life we are bound to solve problems. In our day to day activity such as purchasing something from a general store and making payments, depositing fee in school, or withdrawing money from bank account. All these activities involve some kind of problem solving. It can be said that whatever activity a human being or machine do for achieving a specified objective comes under problem solving. To make it clearer, let us see some other examples.

Example1: If you are watching a news channel on your TV and you want to change it to a sports channel, you need to do something i.e. move to that channel by pressing that channel number on your remote. This is a kind of problem solving.

Example 2: One Monday morning, a student is ready to go to school but yet he/she has not picked up those books and copies which are required as per timetable. So here picking up books and copies as per timetable is a kind of problem solving.

Example 3: Some students in a class plan to go on picnic and decide to share the expenses among them. So calculating total expenses and the amount an individual have to give for picnic is also a kind of problem solving.

Now, broadly we can say that problem is a kind of barrier to achieve something and problem solving is a process to get that barrier removed by performing some sequence of activities.

Here it is necessary to mention that all the problems in the world can not be solved. There are some problems which have no solution and these problems are called Open Problems.

If you can solve a given problem then you can also write an algorithm for it. In next section we will learn what is an algorithm.