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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
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 08, 2008
Posts: 5
Dan:

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: ftp://ftp.cis.upenn.edu/pub/wilf/AlgComp.html. Chapter 1 is where you will find the discussion of Big O.

Hope that helps!

Best Regards,

Joe
Bert Bates
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
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