I am writing my thesis (computer sience) and wonder how to refer to an algorithm which i reimplement as a part of the thesis.

There is a paper describing the original algorithm and I am only implementing this algorithm in my thesis.

I considered to refer to it as 'baseline' or 'reference algorithm' but 'baseline do have a different meaning in data mining and in my opinion (as a not native english person 'reference algorithm' sounds like the algorithm completely differ from mine. The algorithm itself is not named and the paper is having a name that is too long (i.e for the TOC)

  • Welcome to Academia SE. Can you please edit the question to clarify what you already considered and in particular why obvious choices like the name do not work for you? – Wrzlprmft Sep 19 '17 at 10:09

First, give the algorithm (since it is your thesis, I assume that you have enough space). Then, name the algorithm. If it is named already, better to use that name. Else, caption the algorithm

Algorithm 5: Managing big data with minimum spanning trees

Then, in the text, you can refer to this algorithm as

We have implemented Algorithm 5, and we compare the results with our algorithm.

  • 1
    Also, the reason theorems and algorithms come to have names in the first place is because people write about the algorithms that someone else invented and refer to them as “______’s algorithm.” So feel free to call it ____’s algorithm in your text. Notice that if there are several authors, hyphenating the names or using the authors’ initials is common – Stella Biderman Oct 19 '17 at 13:28

Here are some other options:

  • "original algorithm" (yours is the "new algorithm")
  • "traditional algorithm"
  • "Smith's algorithm" (Substitute the name of the researcher who first published the algorithm for "Smith".)

But "reference algorithm" seems OK to me too.

  • Ah ok.. I thought there are special notations for this... – Jansta Sep 19 '17 at 10:42

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