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Data Science Glossary: What are Greedy Algorithms?

A greedy algorithm will break a problem down into a series of steps. It will then look for the best possible solution at each step, aiming to find the best overall solution available.

Greedy is an algorithmic paradigm that builds up a solution piece by piece, always choosing the next piece that offers the most obvious and immediate benefit. So the problems where choosing locally optimal also leads to global solution are best fit for Greedy. For example consider the Fractional Knapsack Problem. The local optimal strategy is to choose the item that has maximum value vs weight ratio. This strategy also leads to global optimal solution because we allowed to take fractions of an item.

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