ANYTIME ALGORITHM
\ˈɛnɪtˌa͡ɪm ˈalɡəɹˌɪθəm], \ˈɛnɪtˌaɪm ˈalɡəɹˌɪθəm], \ˈɛ_n_ɪ_t_ˌaɪ_m ˈa_l_ɡ_ə_ɹ_ˌɪ_θ_ə_m]\
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An algorithm that returns a sequence ofapproximations to the correct answer such that eachapproximation is no worse than the previous one, i.e. thealgorithm can be stopped at _any time_.NewtonRaphson iteration applied to finding the squareroot of a number b is another example:x = (x + b / x) / 2Each new x is closer to the square root than the previous one.Applications might include a realtime control system or achess program that is allowed a fixed thinking time.
By Denis Howe