The Only Algorithm for Hard Problems: Shake and Pull Gently

(Or, “regularized greedy algorithms and their applications.”) James Gilles “Algorithm” is one of those words that sounds fancier than it really deserves. We hear all the time about the “facebook algorithm”, the “youtube algorithm”, “high frequency trading algorithms”, “artificial intelligence algorithms”, and so on. What are these, really? The “facebook algorithm” is a large blob of software that Facebook uses to try to get people to stay on their website longer.