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21.5: Glossary

  • Page ID
    42811
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    analysis of algorithms:
    A way to compare algorithms in terms of their run time and/or space requirements.
    machine model:
    A simplified representation of a computer used to describe algorithms.
    worst case:
    The input that makes a given algorithm run slowest (or require the most space).
    leading term:
    In a polynomial, the term with the highest exponent.
    crossover point:
    The problem size where two algorithms require the same run time or space.
    order of growth:
    A set of functions that all grow in a way considered equivalent for purposes of analysis of algorithms. For example, all functions that grow linearly belong to the same order of growth.
    Big-Oh notation:
    Notation for representing an order of growth; for example, \( O(n) \) represents the set of functions that grow linearly.
    linear:
    An algorithm whose run time is proportional to problem size, at least for large problem sizes.
    quadratic:
    An algorithm whose run time is proportional to \( n^2 \), where \( n \) is a measure of problem size.
    search:
    The problem of locating an element of a collection (like a list or dictionary) or determining that it is not present.
    hashtable:
    A data structure that represents a collection of key-value pairs and performs search in constant time.

    This page titled 21.5: Glossary is shared under a CC BY-NC 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Allen B. Downey (Green Tea Press) .

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