This question pertains to English writing; although a English Language and Usage SE Community exists, I thought I would post here as I am writing academic literature, and most academics are on this community.

So here's my question. I'd like to say the following:
"A canned algorithm is used to find the closest distance between two locations on Earth given their latitude and longitude coordinates."

However, "canned" sounds rather informal. What are the established ways in literature to refer to a method such as this - an unoriginal, well-known procedure (although there may be several equally good algorithms out there).

A "standard algorithm"? Perhaps a "well-known algorithm"?

  • 2
    If there are several appropriate algorithms, why not name the algorithm and reference the paper establishing it as a standard? – Luigi May 23 '16 at 23:09
  • What @Luigi said -- especially since there are approximations involved: do you assume the Earth is a sphere or a geoid, for instance? – Federico Poloni May 24 '16 at 6:18
  • @FedericoPoloni The Earth is always a geoid, by definition :) . The question is whether you assume geoid to be spherical or not. – user9646 May 24 '16 at 8:06
  • @NajibIdrissi Sorry, not my field. s/geoid/ellipsoid – Federico Poloni May 24 '16 at 8:51
  • @FedericoPoloni It was more of a joke than anything, "geoid" is literally defined as "having the same shape as the Earth". – user9646 May 24 '16 at 9:05

I would recommend naming the algorithm and then saying what library or software you obtained the implementation from. That way, the reader has enough information to adequately understand what you have done and compare it. As for an adjective: "frequently used" is sufficient, I think.

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