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"text": "In computer programming, a nondeterministic algorithm is an algorithm that, even for the same input, can exhibit different behaviors on different runs, as opposed to a deterministic algorithm. There are several ways an algorithm may behave differently from run to run. A concurrent algorithm can perform differently on different runs due to a race condition."

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Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodologyIn computer programming, a nondeterministic algorithm is an algorithm that, even for the same input, can exhibit different behaviors on different runs, as opposed to a deterministic algorithm. There are several ways an algorithm may behave differently from run to run. A concurrent algorithm can perform differently on different runs due to a race condition.

A probabilistic algorithm's behaviors depends on a random number generator. An algorithm that solves a problem in nondeterministic polynomial time can run in polynomial time or exponential time depending on the choices it makes during execution. The nondeterministic algorithms are often used to find an approximation to a solution, when the exact solution would be too costly to obtain using a deterministic one.

Non-deterministic algorithms are useful for finding approximate solutions, when an exact solution is difficult or expensive to derive using a deterministic algorithm.

One example of a non-deterministic algorithm is the execution of concurrent algorithms with race conditions, which can exhibit different outputs on different runs. Unlike a deterministic algorithm which travels a single path from input to output, a non-deterministic algorithm can take many paths, with some arriving at the same outputs, and others arriving at different outputs. This feature is mathematically used in non-deterministic computation models like non-deterministic finite automaton.

A non-deterministic algorithm is capable of execution on a deterministic computer which has an unlimited number of parallel processors. A non-deterministic algorithm usually has two phases and output steps. The first phase is the guessing phase, which makes use of arbitrary characters to run the problem.

The second phase is the verifying phase, which returns true or false for the chosen string. There are many problems which can be conceptualized with help of non-deterministic algorithms including the unresolved problem of P vs NP in computing theory.

Non-deterministic algorithms are used in solving problems which allow multiple outcomes. Every outcome the non-deterministic algorithm produces is valid, regardless of the choices made by the algorithm during execution.

In a deterministic algorithm, for a given particular input, the computer will always produce the same output going through the same states but in the case of a non-deterministic algorithm, for the same input, the compiler may produce different output in different runs. In fact, non-deterministic algorithms can’t solve the problem in polynomial time and can’t determine what is the next step. The non-deterministic algorithms can show different behaviors for the same input on different execution and there is a degree of randomness to it.

Deterministic algorithms can be summed to these three points:

- For a particular input the computer will give always the same output.
- Can solve the problem in polynomial time.
- Can determine the next step of execution.

To implement a non-deterministic algorithm, we have a couple of languages like Prolog but these don’t have standard programming language operators and these operators are not a part of any standard programming languages.

Non-deterministic algorithms can be summed to these three points:

- For a particular input, the computer will give different outputs on different execution.
- Can’t solve the problem in polynomial time.
- Cannot determine the next step of execution due to more than one path the algorithm can take.

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