Difference Between Pseudocode and Algorithm

Living in a digital world, most of our works is computerized. Behind every function, application, or software, there are a bunch of computer instructions or programs written by programmers in specific programming languages.


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Pseudocode vs Algorithm

The difference between pseudocode and algorithm is that pseudocode describes the flow of the program while the algorithm is a step-wise procedure written to simplify and provide a solution to a given problem. Pseudocode is the basis of the algorithm while the algorithm is the basis of any programming language.

Pseudocode vs Algorithm

Pseudocode is a tool to create the entire flow of the program. It is helpful especially while explaining a new project to programmers.

While algorithms are steps. It contains specific selections, sequences, and iterations. It can analyze every problem and develop an approach to solve the issue.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonPseudocodeAlgorithm
DefinitionA “text-based” tool useful in developing algorithmA sequential set of orders to complete certain task in a program
AimTo simplify the programming language so that humans can understand without having prior knowledge about programming language To help in performing the task and get the desired output through defined steps
CharacteristicsClear beginning and end, usage of named variables and identifiers Clear, unambiguous, defined input and output, language-independent and feasible
AdvantagesUse of simple English language, designs the entire flow of the program, and can be easily converted to actual programming code Step-wise representation which is simple and easy to understand and executes on available resources
DisadvantagesIt cannot be compiled or executed and every designer has a different style of writing pseudocode Time-consuming and certain branch and loop statements are difficult to depict in algorithm

What is Pseudocode?

Pseudocode is a way of describing an artificial program language. It helps in developing algorithms. Pseudocode can be also referred to as a design tool that is “text-based”.

Pseudocode is useful in planning the algorithm before coding and provides a sketch or outline of the program. The entire flow and summary of the program are created in pseudocode.

Since pseudocode is not a programming language, it cannot be compiled or executed. It does not use proper syntax or code but more of terms of the English language. Through pseudocode flow errors can be identified.

The program description and function are the basis for creating pseudocode. Any error in the flow of the program is easy to correct during pseudocode.

What is Algorithm?

The algorithm is a step of the sequential procedure that is used to solve a problem. It includes actions that need to be executed and even the order of the actions.

The algorithm is unambiguous. Tasks like automated reasoning, calculations a d data processing can be performed using algorithms.

The word algorithm is derived from the name of a renowned mathematician called Muhammad Ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī. The algorithm has existed since ancient times.

A prototypical example is that of the Euclidean algorithm, which determines the maximum common divisor of two integers.

Main Differences Between Pseudocode and Algorithm

  1. Pseudocode offers explanation of the algorithm while algorithm offers the solution for the problem statement.
  2. Pseudocode is helpful in comprehending the idea of the program while algorithm is helpful in comprehending the execution of the program.
Difference Between Pseudocode and Algorithm


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/35587/
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