What Is an Iterative Method?


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Iterative methods are mathematical processes used to solve a wide range of problems. In essence, they use the data generated from a problem’s initial value and repetitively test that same data until the desired result is obtained. If you’ve ever done a math problem or worked on a computer algorithm, chances are you have used some type of iterative method without even realizing it. Let’s take a closer look at what iterative methods are and how they work.


What Are Iterative Methods Used For?

Iterative methods have many applications in fields such as mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering and economics. In fact, these methods are so important that most calculations required to solve complex problems would be impossible without them.

The most common application of iterative methods is numerical analysis — the process of using numerical techniques to identify patterns in data sets and make predictions about future events. This includes solving equations with multiple variables (e.g., linear equations) as well as differential equations (e.g., those used in physics). It can also be used for optimization problems (e.g., finding the minimum or maximum value of a function).

How Do Iterative Methods Work?

At their core, iterative methods work by repeatedly executing the same sequence of operations on an approximation of the solution until it converges to its exact value — that is, until it reaches its intended result. This “convergence” occurs when successive approximations become increasingly close together and eventually reach the same value or very similar values — meaning that the answer to your problem has been found.


One example of an iterative method is Newton’s Method, which uses derivatives to approximate solutions to nonlinear equations. Another example is Jacobi’s Method, which uses matrix transformations to solve systems of linear equations. Both these methods involve repeating calculations until convergence is achieved; thus, they can be considered examples of iterative methods in action!

Iterative Method: Conclusion

Iterative methods provide us with powerful tools for tackling complex problems across multiple disciplines. By repeating sequences or formulas over and over again until we reach our desired result — or “convergence” — we can find answers quickly and efficiently while minimizing errors along the way. Whether you’re working on calculus homework or developing a computer algorithm, understanding how iterative methods work will help you get one step closer to success! High school students interested in math or computer science should definitely look into this valuable tool – it could open up whole new worlds for their studies!


CITE THIS AS:
Stephanie Glen. "What Is an Iterative Method?" From StatisticsHowTo.com: Elementary Statistics for the rest of us! https://www.statisticshowto.com/what-is-an-iterative-method/
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