From Encyclopedia of Mathematics
Jump to: navigation, search

An algorithmic language developed in the USSR to solve scientific and technical problems with the aid of computers. Al'fa is to some extent an extension of the reproducing properties of Algol. To the quantities appearing in Algol, complex numbers and component quantities with an internal dimension (vector, matrices, etc.) have been added. Other additions include descriptions which serve to introduce designations for components of complex and multi-dimensional quantities. A special class of function routines, the body of which is defined by an expression, has been introduced. It is possible to display the counting of natural numbers by dots, to use summation and product signs and chains of inequalities. There is a supplementary kind of loops in which the desired number of repetitions can be performed without introducing an enumeration parameter. The principal programming systems include Al'fa (for M-20 type machines), Algibr (for the complex M-220/BESM-6) and Al'fa-6 (for BESM-6 machines).


[1] A.P. Ershov, G.I. Kozhukhin, Yu.M. Voloshin, "Operating languages for systems of automatic programming" , Novosibirsk (1964) (In Russian)
[2] , Al'fa - a system for automatization of programming , Novosibirsk (1967) (In Russian)
[3] A.P. Ershov, G.I. Kozhukhin, I.V. Pottosin, "Handbook for the use of the system Al'fa" , Novosibirsk (1968) (In Russian)
[4] , Manual for the use of systems of automatization of programming , Novosibirsk (1975) (In Russian)
How to Cite This Entry:
Al'fa. A.P. Ershov (originator), Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL:
This text originally appeared in Encyclopedia of Mathematics - ISBN 1402006098