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A greedy algorithm is an algorithmic paradigm that follows the problem solving heuristic of making the locally optimal choice at each stage with the intent of finding a global optimum. In many problems, a greedy strategy does not usually produce an optimal solution, but nonetheless a greedy heuristic may yield locally optimal solutions that approximate a globally optimal solution in a reasonable amount of time. A greedy algorithm is an algorithmic paradigm that follows the problem solving heuristic of making the locally optimal choice at each stage with the intent of finding a global optimum. In many problems, a greedy strategy does not usually produce an optimal solution, but nonetheless a greedy heuristic may yield locally optimal solutions that approximate a globally optimal solution in a reasonable amount of time. For example, a greedy strategy for the traveling salesman problem (which is of a high computational complexity) is the following heuristic: 'At each step of the journey, visit the nearest unvisited city.' This heuristic does not intend to find a best solution, but it terminates in a reasonable number of steps; finding an optimal solution to such a complex problem typically requires unreasonably many steps. In mathematical optimization, greedy algorithms optimally solve combinatorial problems having the properties of matroids, and give constant-factor approximations to optimization problems with submodular structure.

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