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Big 'O' Notation | Big O Cheat Sheet

Big O notation is used in Computer Science to describe the performance or complexity of an algorithm. Big O specifically describes the worst-case scenario and can be used to describe the execution time required or the space used (e.g. in memory or on disk) by an algorithm.

-Big Os

O(1) Constant- no loops

O(log N) Logarithmic- usually searching algorithms have log n if they are sorted (Binary Search)

O(n) Linear- for loops, while loops through n items

O(n log(n)) Log Liniear- usually sorting operations 

O(n^2) Quadratic- every element in a collection needs to be compared to ever other element. Two nested loops

O(2^n) Exponential- recursive algorithms that solves a problem of size N

O(n!) Factorial- you are adding a loop for every element

Iterating through half a collection is still O(n) 
Two separate collections: O(a * b) 

-What can cause time in a function?-

Operations (+, -, *, /)

Comparisons (<, >, ==)

Looping (for, while)

Outside Function call (function())  

-Rule Book

Rule 1: Always worst Case

Rule 2: Remove Constants

Rule 3: Different inputs should have different variables. O(a+b). A and B arrays nested would be O(a*b)
+ for steps in order
* for nested steps

Rule 4: Drop Non-dominant terms

-What causes Space complexity?- 

Data Structures
Function Call

Thank You


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