is a deliberate process for transforming one or more inputs into one or more results, with variable change.
The term is used in a variety of senses, from the very definite arithmetic
Arithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...
al calculation of using an algorithm
In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning...
to the vague heuristics of calculating a strategy in a competition or calculating the chance of a successful relationship between two people.
For example, multiplying
Multiplication is the mathematical operation of scaling one number by another. It is one of the four basic operations in elementary arithmetic ....
7 by 8 is a simple algorithmic calculation. Estimating the fair price for financial instruments
A financial instrument is a tradable asset of any kind, either cash; evidence of an ownership interest in an entity; or a contractual right to receive, or deliver, cash or another financial instrument....
using the Black–Scholes model is a complex algorithmic calculation.
Statistical estimations of the likely election results from opinion polls also involve algorithmic calculations, but provide results made up of ranges of possibilities rather than exact answers.
means to ascertain by computing. The English word derives from the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
, which originally meant a small stone in the gall-bladder (from Latin calx
). It also meant a pebble used for calculating, or a small stone used as a counter in an abacus
The abacus, also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool used primarily in parts of Asia for performing arithmetic processes. Today, abaci are often constructed as a bamboo frame with beads sliding on wires, but originally they were beans or stones moved in grooves in sand or on tablets of...
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...
). The abacus was an instrument used by Greeks and Romans for arithmetic calculations, preceding the slide-rule and the electronic calculator, and consisted of perforated pebbles sliding on an iron bars.
Comparison to computation
Calculate,comes from the Greek
or gravel in English beacause Greeks used gravels for counting. In English
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...
, calculation involves numbers and the word usually connotes a simple process, but computation
Computation is defined as any type of calculation. Also defined as use of computer technology in Information processing.Computation is a process following a well-defined model understood and expressed in an algorithm, protocol, network topology, etc...
may be done by applying specific rules, with or without numbers, and the word is chosen for more complex tasks.
Calculation is a prerequisite for computation. The difference in the meaning of calculation
appears to originate from the late medieval period.