I want to search a database of games for generic interesting tactics combinations. What are my software options for this (SCID/CB/CA)? Is there a published algorithm/script that determines that a move is a sacrifice/combination? I see that Chessbase allows this: as per http://help.chessbase.com/Reader/12/Eng/index.html?search_sacrifices.htm, but I would be curious to see if other software does something similar, and also want to know more details behind these algorithms: "The ChessBase sacrifice search does a look-ahead in all tactical situations and for this reason takes somewhat longer than the other searches. The algorithms were written by Dr. Christian Donninger, the author of Nimzo."
The http://ChessTempo.com tactis trainer is based on tactical problems extracted from a large database scanned with an engine and the problems have been tagged with tactical motifs by users. Perhaps it is sufficient for your purpose if you learn to create custom problem sets based on these tags. There is a discussion forum there where you can ask your question in detail.
Chessbase 17 exactly does what you want. I love this feature. I just added a recent search for sacrifice and this is the result, off course one from many. I have attached the screenshot for you to understand quickly. This sacrifice of bishop crashed the entire game of the black and in next move, he resigned. He placed his king on d-8.