Definition: Algorithm (Effective Procedure)
An algorithm $\mathcal A$ (sometimes also called an effective procedure) is a stepbystep procedure for solving a problem fulfilling the following properties:
 $\mathcal A$ consists of a finite number of instructions (each instruction is being an expression of a formal language).
 $\mathcal A,$ if carried out without error, always produces the desired solution to the problem in a finite number of steps.
 $\mathcal A$ can be carried out purely mechanically, without any insight or ingenuity.
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References
Bibliography
 Lawler; Lenstra; Rinnooy Kan; Shmoys: "The Traveling Salesman Problem", WileyInterscience, 1985