Breaking Down Complex Algorithms: A Beginner’s Guide for Students


Algorithms are a fundamental concept in programming. It is a set of steps a program should take to solve a particular problem. It is used in all software solutions to work with data or complete a task.

The underlying principle is the same as with any algorithm a person might encounter in their daily life. For instance, college students often need professional paper writing help to handle their academic workload and have more time for other responsibilities. In such a case, an algorithm would start with understanding the task, finding a reliable writing platform, placing an order, and getting a result.

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Experienced writers, on the other hand, have their own scenario of work. They accept the task, analyze the assignment, find sources, write a paper, proofread, and edit it. Every step is a building block to providing expert help with a college assignment. The same logic applies to any computer algorithm. There is an end goal – to solve a problem. And a program has to take a set of actions to achieve it.

The Main Types of Algorithms

Programming students have to master algorithms to develop effective and efficient solutions. There are four main types of procedures, namely:

  • Sorting ones allow to rearrange information in a desired order;
  • Searching ones allows finding and location of a specific piece of data;
  • Graph ones work with graph data structures (which are more complex) and will enable the analysis of connections between different elements of the structure;
  • Compression ones compress information to optimize the space used.

Crucial Concepts to Learn

The basic concepts are the same whether it is a simple or complex algorithm. They include space, time, and Big O notation. Let’s cover each one individually.

Big O Notation

Although it might sound confusing, this concept can be easily described. It defines a way to describe the algorithm’s performance based on the input size. The idea is to evaluate the procedure’s performance based on how much data it has to work with.

Some might be quick with small iterations but get slower as the input grows. Big O notation allows understanding the potential of an algorithm without deconstructing it into small details.


Time refers to how long a program takes to complete a set of actions. The measurement will differ based on the data input. Of course, the main goal of a programmer is to create a system that performs as fast as possible.


This concept describes how much space the program needs to perform a set of actions. It is closely connected to two other concepts. There is often a need to balance quick performance and minimal use of space. Programmers must develop a system that performs well even with massive data input and optimal time and space ratio.

Types of Advanced Algorithms

After getting a hold of the basics, one can go into more advanced sets of actions. Such actions help to solve complex problems by using advance algorithms such as Trie Data Structure and Binary Decision Diagrams. So, the more intricate the problem, the more advanced the solutions.

Here are some of the widely used types of complex algorithms.


This type works with graph data structures. There are usually nodes of data and connecting edges. The main goal of such a structure is to represent relationships between different nodes/sets of information.

This type can be divided into subtypes: shortest path finding, minimum spanning tree, breadth-first search, and depth-first search.

Nondeterministic Polynomial-time (NP) Algorithms

Computer science understands the complexity of a problem as the number of computing resources needed to find a solution. The more resources one needs, the more complex the problem is.

If the number of resources is reasonable, the problem is solvable. But if the number of resources is unattainable, the problem is labeled as unsolvable.

NP procedures work with NP-hard and NP-complete problems. These are highly advanced issues that many think of as unsolvable. But there is no proof as there are no attainable computing resources.

How to Solve Complex Algorithms

To master these concepts, you need to get your keyboard ready and start practicing. Here is how students can solve complex algorithms step-by-step.

The problem

Step one is understanding the problem itself. It will give you a better idea of what actions could take place. Review the problem statement and consider the input, output, and constraints. If there is something you are uncertain about, seek clarification before moving to the next step.

Appropriate procedure

Now, you can identify the algorithmic approach suitable for this problem. Consider the standard techniques (brute force, dynamic programming, or divide and conquer) and define which meets the problem’s requirements best.

The plan

The next step is to plan the solution. Take the problem and break it down into smaller steps. Define the correct order for solving each of them. Also, decide where to store the intermediate result in your data structure. Create the general roadmap and logic for your procedure. You can do it in English at this stage if you are a beginner.


When the plan is ready, you must translate it into a programming language. As soon as you do it, you can start the implementation stage. When writing code, pay attention to the best practices, readability, and efficiency.

Testing and Debugging

You need to create several test scenarios to understand how the set of actions performs. They have to be varied. Include edge cases as well. Run the code through the scenarios and compare the result with the desired output. If there are any errors, you need to fix them.

Time and Space Complexity

After debugging, you need to evaluate the time and space complexity. Evaluate how fast it works and how much storage space it takes. Consider how the parameters would scale up based on the input.

It is essential to find potential optimization options or problems that might occur.

Optimize, Refine, and Document

Optimize the solution if possible. After that, refactor the code and document the algorithm. Explain the logic behind it, describe the key steps, and identify applicable limitations.


Algorithmic logic is crucial for computer science. It might sound complex for a beginner, but it is manageable upon further inspection. It is based on the daily logic people use whether they look for the best assignment help website or the best flight ticket aggregator. Hopefully, this guide will help you start with mastering algorithms.

Photos by Андрей Сизов and  Google DeepMind on Unsplash

M. Saqib: Saqib is Master-level Senior Software Engineer with over 14 years of experience in designing and developing large-scale software and web applications. He has more than eight years experience of leading software development teams. Saqib provides consultancy to develop software systems and web services for Fortune 500 companies. He has hands-on experience in C/C++ Java, JavaScript, PHP and .NET Technologies. Saqib owns and write contents on since 2004.
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