Difference Between Algorithm And Pseudocode

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What is Algorithm?

An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure that defines a set of instructions that must be carried out in a specific order to produce the desired result. Algorithms are generally developed independently of underlying languages, which means that an algorithm can be implemented in more than one programming language.

Unambiguity, fineness, effectiveness, and language independence are some of the characteristics of an algorithm. The scalability and performance of an algorithm are the primary factors that contribute to its importance. 

Algorithms are typically written in a step-by-step fashion, but this is not always the case. Algorithm writing is a process that occurs after the problem domain has been well-defined. That is, you must be aware of the problem domain for which you are developing a solution.

What is Pseudocode?

Pseudocode literally means ‘fake code’ and is a plain language description of the steps in an algorithm or another system. Pseudocode often uses structural conventions of a normal programming language, but is intended for human reading rather than machine reading.

Pseudocode is an informal way of programming description that does not require any strict programming language syntax or underlying technology considerations. It is used for creating an outline or a rough draft of a program. Pseudocode summarizes a program’s flow, but excludes underlying details. System designers write pseudocode to ensure that programmers understand a software project’s requirements and align code accordingly.

The purpose of using pseudocode is an efficient key principle of an algorithm. It is used in planning an algorithm with sketching out the structure of the program before the actual coding takes place.

Also Read: Difference Between Flowchart And Algorithm

Algorithm vs Pseudocode

BASIS OF COMPARISON ALGORITHM PSEUDOCODE
Description Algorithm is a well-defined sequence of steps that provides a solution for a given problem. A Pseudocode is one of the methods that can be used to represent an algorithm.  
Writing Algorithms are generally written in a natural language or plain English language. Pseudocode is written in a format that is similar to the structure of a high-level programming language.
Nature It is a systematic and a logical approach, where the procedure is defined step-wise. It is a simpler version of coding in a programming language.
Construction Algorithm is difficult to debug and construct. Pseudocode is easy to construct and debug.
Understandability It is difficult to understand and interpret. Pseudocode is easy to understand and interpret.
Formats Algorithm can be represented using natural language, flowchart and so on. There are many formats that could be used to write pseudo-codes.
Construction Rules There are no rules to follow while constructing it. Certain rules are followed while constructing it. Control structures such as ‘while’, ‘if-then-else’, ‘repeat-until’, and so on can be used.
Programming Algorithms can be used in any complex programming language as it uses simple logical code snippets. Pseudocodes are not used in any complex programming languages.
Outlook Algorithms can be considered as pseudocodes. Pseudocodes cannot be considered as algorithms.

What you need to know about Algorithms

  • An algorithm is defined as a well-defined sequence of steps that provides a solution for a given problem.
  • A perfect algorithm is defined as unambiguous, which means that its instructions should be clear and straightforward.
  • The algorithm uses high-level constructs such as code snippets which may sometimes make it difficult for interpreting and understanding.
  • Algorithms can be represented using natural language, flowchart and so on.
  • It is a systematic, and a logical approach, where the procedure is defined step-wise. It gives the solution to a specific problem.

What you need to know about Pseudocode

  • Pseudocode is a more plain and human understandable form of algorithm where natural language is also combined with the high-level programming language constructs.
  • It is written in plain English, and uses short phrases to write the functionalities that s specific line of code would do.
  • There are many formats that could be used to write pseudo-codes. Most of these formats take the structure from languages such as C, LIST, FORTRAN, and so on.
  • It is a simpler version of coding in a programming language.

Also Read: Difference Between Deterministic And Non-deterministic Algorithms

Conclusion

An algorithm is a sequence of steps which is utilized in order to solve a computational problem whereas pseudocode is nothing but a more simple form of an algorithm which involves some part of natural language to enhance the understandability of the high-level programming constructs or for making it more human-friendly. Algorithms are considered to be the foundation of computer programming.