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  • A systematic procedure or formula for solving a problem. Often applied in formal reasoning (or logical reasoning) situations, an algorithm involves a formulaic, logical, statistical, or mathematical set of rules for problem solving. For many problems (e.g., Are all swans white?), strict formal algorithmic approaches, based on the full number of possible observations, are rarely practical by comparison with informal approaches (heuristics) that are based merely on a sample of obser vations, even though they may fail in some cases. For more information, see Jahnke and Nowaczyk (1998).

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