Iteration is defined as the act or process of repeating. For example, iteration can include repetition of a sequence of operations in order to get ever closer to a desired result. Iteration can also refer to a process wherein a computer program is instructed to perform a process over and over again repeatedly for a specific number of times or until a specific condition has been met.
Iteration Examples in Real Life and Computer Programming
There are lots of different ways that iteration is used in the corporate world. Here are some iteration examples:
- Apple has released multiple different versions of each model of its iPod products. The Nano, for example, has evolved from an original slim mP3 player with a very small screen to a tiny square touch-screen version to a longer, thinner touch screen version. It evolved from a device that could only play mp3 music files to a work-out device that has a special Nike Ap to track workouts and to a device that plays music. Each of these different versions is a different iteration of the same product. The goal is to find the perfect combination of features that will please customers and provide the desired services in the right package.
- Coke has experimented with different formulations of its popular Coca Cola product, including the failed New Coke iteration. The aim is to achieve the best tasting product that customers like.
- A company that is operating a factory or assembly line may experiment with different methods of arranging the assembly line or with different production methods. Each time the production process is changed, this is a different iteration. Each time the order of operations and procedures are changed, this is a different iteration. The goal is to achieve the fastest, best and most optimal method of creating a product.
- A musician may start with one version of a song and refine it, making changes to a note here and there or changing the tempo and speed. Many different iterations of a song may be created this way until the optimal finished product has been created that sounds and works the best.
- A cook may experiment with a recipe, tweaking the ingredients or changing different steps of the process slightly until the food tastes as good as it possibly can.
- Microsoft has released multiple versions of the Windows operating system to add functionality for users and to correct bugs. Each different version is a different iteration of its operating system and the goal is for the next iteration to be better than the last.
Iteration in Computer Programming
Iteration is also a technical term that relates to repeating a sequence or series of instructions over-and-over. When the computer receives these repeated instructions, it continues to complete the process until a designated event occurs or until the desired number of repetitions is over.
- A website could have HTML code that tells it to repeatedly refresh the page until the user presses a button.
- An algorithm can be used in a computer program that tells the program to rearrange a series of letters until all of the different combinations have been formed.
There will be different iterations used depending upon what process you want the computer to continue to perform.