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Big O notation

Dan Silva
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 05, 2007
Posts: 86
Can somebody point me in the right direction to understand Big O notation? I am reading "Data Structures & Algorithms in Java" by Robert Lafore, and I'm having trouble understanding how to understand Big O notation. Thanks.
J Marr

Joined: Jan 08, 2008
Posts: 5

The concept of Big O notation can certainly be confusing (at least it was when I was trying to learn it for the first time). Here are two good references to get you started:

1) The classic on algorithm analysis is "Introduction to Algorithms" by Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest and Stein. Chapter 3 of this book, entitled "Growth of Functions" is all about asymptotic notation (i.e., Big O and others) and contains a very good discussion.

2) Another good discussion can be found in a free, on-line book called "Algorithms and Complexity" by Herbert Wilf and found here: Chapter 1 is where you will find the discussion of Big O.

Hope that helps!

Best Regards,

Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8896
intermediate forum for this one

Spot false dilemmas now, ask me how!
(If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room.)
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
subject: Big O notation