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Dijkstra's algorithm is a fundamental algorithm used in computer science for finding the shortest paths between nodes in a weighted graph. It's named after its inventor, Dutch computer scientist Edsger W. Dijkstra, and is particularly useful in scenarios where finding the shortest path is crucial.
Starting Point: Dijkstra's algorithm begins at a designated starting point, typically called the "source" node.
Initializing Distances: It initializes the distance to all nodes from the source node to infinity, except for the source node itself, which is set to zero.
Exploring Neighbors: It systematically explores the neighboring nodes of the current node. For each neighboring node, it calculates the distance from the source node through the current node.
Updating Distances: If the newly calculated distance to a node is shorter than the previously known distance, Dijkstra's algorithm updates the distance and records the current node as the "previous node" for the shortest path.
Priority Queue: To efficiently select the next node to explore, Dijkstra's algorithm typically uses a priority queue. Nodes are prioritized based on their current distance from the source node.
Visiting Nodes: Dijkstra's algorithm continues this process, visiting nodes and updating distances until it has visited all reachable nodes or until the destination node is reached.
Backtracking: After reaching the destination node, Dijkstra's algorithm backtracks from the destination node to the source node using the recorded "previous node" information, thereby determining the shortest path.
Dijkstra's algorithm is a powerful tool with various applications in computer science, transportation, and engineering.
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