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I'm from a non-technical background. (Mentioning this for the convenience of explanation w.r.t intelligibility)

Book Name - "Introduction to Algorithms"

Authors - Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein.


1 Answer 1


Single means that they are talking about only one computer. Sequential means that they are not considering computers that can execute multiple instructions in parallel (as an example think of computers with multiple processors or processor cores).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Steven ! I had a follow-up doubt of what can an example of such a computer. I would appreciate if you can help me with this. $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2021 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ (@DharshanSagar: A historically somewhat significant one would have been the IBM Stretch.) $\endgroup$
    – greybeard
    Sep 8, 2021 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ @DharshanSagar which computer is "such a computer"? Any modern computer with 1 core is sequential. Any computer with more than one cores can execute more than one instruction in parallel $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Sep 20, 2021 at 8:55

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