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Two gradient descent adaptive algorithms are compared, the LMS algorithm and the LMS/Newton algorithm. LMS is simple and practical, and is used in many applications worldwide. LMS/Newton is based on Newton's method and the LMS algorithm. LMS/Newton is optimal in the least squares sense. It maximizes the quality of its adaptive solution while minimizing the use of training data. No other linear least squares algorithm can give better performance. LMS is easily implemented, but LMS/Newton, although of great mathematical interest, cannot be implemented in most practical applications. Because of its optimality, LMS/Newton serves as a benchmark for all least squares adaptive algorithms. The performances of LMS and LMS/Newton are compared, and it is found that under many circumstances, both algorithms provide equal performance. For example, when both algorithms are tested with statistically nonstationary input signals, their average performances are equal. When adapting with stationary input signals and with random initial conditions, their respective learning times are on average equal. However, under worst-case initial conditions, the learning time of LMS can be much greater than that of LMS/Newton, and this is the principal disadvantage of the LMS algorithm. But the strong points of LMS are ease of Implementation and optimal performance under important practical conditions. For these reasons, the LMS algorithm has enjoyed very widespread application.