Big-O Cheat Sheet

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Know Thy Complexities!
Hi there! This webpage covers the space and time Big-O complexities of common algorithms used in Computer Science. When preparing for technical interviews in the past, I found myself spending hours crawling the internet putting together the best, average, and worst case complexities for search and sorting algorithms so that I wouldn't be stumped when asked about them. Over the last few years, I've interviewed at several Silicon Valley startups, and also some bigger companies, like Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn, and Google, and each time that I prepared for an interview, I thought to myself "Why oh why hasn't someone created a nice Big-O cheat sheet?". So, to save all of you fine folks a ton of time, I went ahead and created one. Enjoy!
Good Fair Poor

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Algorithm

Data Structure

Time Complexity Average Worst
O(|E| + |V|)

Complexity Worst
O(|V|)

Depth First Search (DFS)

Graph of |V| vertices and |E| edges Graph of |V| vertices and |E| edges Sorted array of n elements Array Graph with |V| vertices and |E| edges

-

Breadth First Search (BFS)

-

O(|E| + |V|)

O(|V|)

Binary search

O(log(n))

O(log(n))

O(1)

Linear (Brute Force) Shortest path by Dijkstra, using a Min-heap as priority queue Shortest path by Dijkstra, using an unsorted array as priority queue Shortest path by BellmanFord

O(n) O((|V| + |E|) log |V|)

O(n) O((|V| + |E|) log |V|)

O(1) O(|V|)

Graph with |V| vertices and |E| edges

O(|V|^2)

O(|V|^2)

O(|V|)

Graph with |V| vertices and |E| edges

O(|V||E|)

O(|V||E|)

O(|V|)

Sorting
Algorithm Data Structure Time Complexity Best Average Worst Worst Case Auxiliary Space Complexity Worst

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com .Quicksort Array O(n log(n)) O(n log(n)) O(n log(n)) O(n log(n)) O(n^2) O(n^2) O(n) Mergesort Array O(n log(n)) O(n log(n)) O(n log(n)) O(n^2) O(n) Heapsort Array O(n log(n)) O(1) Bubble Sort Insertion Sort Select Sort Bucket Sort Radix Sort Array O(n) O(1) Array O(n) O(n^2) O(n^2) O(1) Array Array O(n^2) O(n+k) O(n^2) O(n+k) O(n^2) O(n^2) O(1) O(nk) Array O(nk) O(nk) O(nk) O(n+k) Data Structures Data Structure Time Complexity Average Indexing Basic O(1) Space Complexity Worst Worst Search O(n) Search O(n) Insertion - Deletion - Indexing O(1) Insertion - Deletion O(n) open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.

Array Dynamic Array SinglyLinked List DoublyLinked List Skip List O(1) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(1) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(1) O(1) O(n) O(n) O(1) O(1) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(1) O(1) O(n) O(n) O(1) O(1) O(n) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n log(n)) Hash Table Binary Search Tree Cartresian Tree B-Tree Red-Black Tree Splay Tree AVL Tree - O(1) O(1) O(1) - O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) - O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) - O(n) O(n) O(n) O(n) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(n) O(n) - O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) - O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(n) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(n) open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.com .

Heaps Heaps Time Complexity Extract Max O(1) Heapify Linked List (sorted) Linked List (unsorted) Binary Heap Binomial Heap Fibonacci Heap - Find Max O(1) Increase Key O(n) Insert O(n) Delete O(1) Merge O(m+n) - O(n) O(n) O(1) O(1) O(1) O(1) O(n) O(1) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(m+n) - O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) O(log(n)) - O(1) O(log(n))* O(1)* O(1) O(log(n))* O(1) Graphs Node / Edge Management Adjacency list Storage Add Vertex Add Edge Remove Vertex O(|V| + Remove Edge O(|E|) Query O(|V|+|E|) O(1) O(1) O(|V|) open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.com .

[3] Same thing. while Omega is the lower bound. not tight lower. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. big-oh is the most useful because represents the worstcase behavior. tightness unknown upper. the growth rate of f(x) is asymptotically proportional to g(n). In other words.|E|) Incidence list Adjacency matrix Incidence matrix O(|V|+|E|) O(|V|^2) O(|V| ⋅ |E|) O(1) O(|V|^2) O(|V| ⋅ |E|) O(1) O(1) O(|V| ⋅ |E|) O(|E|) O(|V|^2) O(|V| ⋅ |E|) O(|E|) O(1) O(|V| ⋅ |E|) O(|E|) O(1) O(|E|) Notation for asymptotic growth letter (theta) Θ (big-oh) O (small-oh) o (big omega) Ω (small omega) ω bound upper and lower. not tight growth equal[2] less than or equal[3] less than greater than or equal greater than [1] Big O is the upper bound. An algorithm taking Theta(n log n) is far preferential since it takes AT LEAST n log n (Omega n log n) and NO MORE THAN n log n (Big O n log n).SO [2] f(x)=Θ(g(n)) means f (the running time of the algorithm) grows exactly like g when n (input size) gets larger. so that's why it's referred to as a tight bound (it must be both the upper and lower bound). Theta requires both Big O and Omega. tightness unknown lower. For example.com . Here the growth rate is no faster than g(n). an algorithm taking Omega(n log n) takes at least n log n time but has no upper limit. tight[1] upper.

O(n!) is the worst complexity which requires 720 operations for just 6 elements.com/apps/business Get Gmail for Business. shows the number of operations (y axis) required to obtain a result as the number of elements (x axis) increase.com . Google Calendar. if algorithm is __ then its performance is __ algorithm o(n) O(n) Θ(n) Ω(n) ω(n) performance <n ≤n =n ≥n >n Google Apps for Business www. Google Docs and more! Big-O Complexity Chart This interactive chart.google. which only requires a constant number of operations for any number of elements. while O(1) is the best complexity.In short. created by our friends over at MeteorCharts. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.

Eric Rowell Quentin Pleple Nick Dizazzo Michael Abed Adam Forsyth Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API open in browser PRO version pdfcrowd. 3. 4. 2.Contributors Edit these tables! 1.com . 5.

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This course has just begun on coursera (dated 1 July 2013).com/course. https://www.. • Reply • Share › Arjan Nieuwenhuizen Michael Mitchell • 5 months ago Here are the links that I know of. #2) http://ocw.. probably as good or maybe better # 2. Maybe you could include some resources (links to khan academy.com/quest.. Espaecially the coursera. 3 • Reply • Share › fireheron Arjan Nieuwenhuizen • 2 months ago Thank you Arjan.udacity.s.org one .com . 119 • Reply • Share › Amanda Harlin 34 Cam Tyler 9 Michael Mitchell • 7 months ago Yes! Please & thank you • Reply • Share › Michael Mitchell • 6 months ago This explanation in 'plain English' helps: http://stackoverflow.edu/courses/ele.mit.-) • Reply • Share › Gokce Toykuyu • a year ago open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. and looks very good. #1) http://aduni..org/cours.. Sincerely.coursera. mooc etc) that would explain each of these concepts for people trying to learn them.. #3) https://www.edu/courses/ele. Arjan p....This is great.. but I have not had a chance to look at it.org/courses/algor. http://ocw...mit.

Gokce Toykuyu 29 • a year ago Could we add some tree algorithms and complexities? Thanks. deletion. I have no idea what it's talking about or any of the comments. 22 • Reply • Share › Jon Renner 30 1 • 7 months ago This is god's work. • Reply • Share › Adam Heinermann 19 • 6 months ago Is there a printer-friendly version? • Reply • Share › qwertykeyboard 14 • 7 months ago It would be very helpful to have export to PDF.) • Reply • Share › ericdrowell Mod Gokce Toykuyu • a year ago Excellent idea. I really like the Red-Black trees .com .. 1 • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. ". Thx • Reply • Share › Gene qwertykeyboard • a month ago You could convert the document yourself using Pandoc: http://johnmacfarlane.net/pand. but Pandoc is an amazing one stop shop for file conversion. and search complexities for specific data structures 23 Darren Le Redgatr • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago I came here from an idle twitter click. Cheers. and cross platform compatible. If I understand big oh notation correctly I might say "I estimate your learning rate for learning Pandoc will be O(1). But I love the fact there are people out there this clever. It might take you a long time to get it working. I'll add a section that compares insertion. Makes me think that one day humanity will come good..

com . Hashes come in a million varieties.. 13 Guest • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago Finals are already over.Valentin Stanciu • 7 months ago 1.. O(. 2. This should have been shared a week ago! Would have saved me like 45 minutes of using Wikipedia. ~ is average case. @tempire is correct. 9 • Reply • Share › Blake Jennings 8 tempire • 7 months ago i'm literally crying • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago This chart seems misleading. For trees. It is the upper bound for for the Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. not average case.. worst and average) cases..) shouldn't be used in the average case columns. Big O (Omicron) is the Worst Case Scenario. Am I wrong? Luis 2 guest • 7 months ago • Reply • Share › You are right. and upper bound. average. how much does it take to delete it?". For the question of "Here's a pointer to an element. 11 1 guest 6 • Reply • Share › tempire • 7 months ago • Reply • Share › I think big O is just an upper bound. It could be used for all (best. Big O cannot be used for lower. single-linked lists take O(N) since you have to search for the element that points to the element being deleted. Big O is worst case. Oleksandr Luis • 2 months ago open in browser PRO version @Luis That is WRONG. Using a double hashing algorithm. the table should probably also contain heaps and the complexities for the operation "Get Minimum". However with a good distribution function they are O(logN) worst case. Double-linked lists solve this problem. Deletion/insertion in a single linked list is implementation dependent. 3. you end up with a worst case of O(loglogN)..

you can thus understand how big O can be used both for. the list sorted but backwards. worst case is when the list is completed out of order. say. With this in mind. time. the third however gives you the constraint. vs. Theta is the upper and lower bound together. For instance in a linear search algorithm. exponential. To be more appropriate.e. this is in MHO so if I'm off base or incorrect then feel free to flame me like the fantastic four at a gay parade :) • Reply • Share › Luis Oleksandr • 2 months ago @Oleksandr You are confused. This is almost pointless to have. As the size of the problem grows (the array to be searched grows in size). the best case still has an upper time bound of O(1) (it takes constant time to find an element in index 0. until we find the object in the last index where we look. 135 dollars to get to New York. the best and the worst case.Y.upper bound. etc. O(n) is better the O(log(n))? In what way? 1024 vs 10 increments that a sort algorithm has to perform for instance? All in all this is good information but in its current state. Take your linear search. i.com . at most. Omega is the lower bound. n. It is the upper bound for for the algorithm." The first bit of information from Omega is essentially useless. Its will always take. Big O (Omicron) is the Worst Case Scenario. but we have done this. for instance you would rather have Big O then Omega because it is exactly the same as say "it will take more than five dollars to get to N. but big O and related concepts are used to bound the order (linear.) of a function that describes how an algorithm grows (in space. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. or another fixed position). while the worst case (the object is in the last index where we look) has an upper time bound of O(n) (it takes a number of steps of order equal to the problem size... This is the most beneficially piece of information to have about an algorithm but unfortunately it is usually very hard to find. honestly it needs to be taken with a grain of salt and fact check with a good algorithm book. • Reply • Share › Oleksandr1 Luis • a month ago You make a very poor assumption that because a specific value is given. Your example about the dollars states specific amounts (e. your example should be modified to say something like "it takes at most 2$ per mile" (linear). " at most 135 dollars"). Simply this is a computational exercise to extract the empirical data. You can usually find that average for an algorithms efficiency by testing it in average case and worst cases together. etc.). to the novice.g. However.) with problem size. There is another problem I do not like is the color scheme is sometimes wrong.

. For example. It is in fact any polynomial function of my choice given its parameters and any amount of Lagrange constants which will produce a value of 135. . but backwards. forgive me. or any such number I specify to be used in the example.has useless/meaningless information) Here are the statements in this argument: Statement i) "The table is wrong in using Big-O notation for all columns". I • Reply • Share › see more Yavuz Yetim Oleksandr1 • a month ago @Oleksandr @Luis IMHO. but --none-. see Statement iii and Example (a) in the end).. which has the worst can scenario when a list is fed to said algorithm in order. I agree with Luis that the table is correct and not useless but also agree with Oleksandr that it's not complete (but again disagree that it is incomplete because of the mismatch between best/average case and big-O. I'm not sure why you don't understand a very clear analogy. $5 was the Omega value. I meant to say Linear Sort Algorithm. I agree about what you said about linear search algorithm. correct combinations. In fact there are an infinite amount of Big O's for any elementary functions. each useful for a different use case. As for the example. The point is that Big O is the upper bound of a function. Big O cannot be used for the best case scenario. this is a complete misunderstanding of Omega vs Omicron. but for you I change situation and values. (in total 9 different. it will run more than five iterations (Omega). or upper-bound for best-case. that lead to the eventual misunderstanding. you have a lower-bound for average-case. On the linear search algorithm. This statement is open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. You should read up on this because this is very important.com . These are orthogonal terms. Given function unknown. BUT it will never run more than 135 iterations. and do not have any relation with each other.than it must be a linear function. 135 being the Omicron value. there are three different statements in this argument. The main confusion is between the terms "case" and "bound". $135 dollars was given as an upper bound.

• Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. One correct representation for this function is O(n). the best case still has an upper time bound of O(1) (it takes constant time to find an element in index 0.) with problem size. etc. Let's say the best-case run time for an algorithm for a given input of size n is exactly (3*n + 1).g.Statement i) "The table is wrong in using Big-O notation for all columns". Your example about the dollars states specific amounts (e. while the worst case (the object is in the last index where we look) has an upper time bound of O(n) (it takes a number of steps of order equal to the problem size. Therefore. (fixed: wrong autocomplete of who I replied to) • Reply • Share › ericdrowell 1 Antoine Grondin 7 Mod tempire • 7 months ago I'll try to clarify that. exponential. Big-O notation is only a representation for a function.) of a function that describes how an algorithm grows (in space. Take your linear search. under Search. As the size of the problem grows (the array to be searched grows in size). until we find the object in the last index where we look. your example should be modified to say something like "it takes at most 2$ per mile" (linear). Thanks! • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago I think DFS and BFS. writing O(n) for a best-case entry is correct. would be more appropriate listed as Graph instead of Tree.com .). say. Big-O notation does not have anything to do with the worst case. time. n. This statement is false because the table is correct. To be more appropriate. you can thus understand how big O can be used both for. average case or the best case. the best and the worst case. With this in mind. or another fixed position). see more • Reply • Share › Guest Oleksandr • 2 months ago @Oleksandr You are confused. etc. " at most 135 dollars"). but big O and related concepts are used to bound the order (linear.

I'd like to use a french version of this page in class. • Reply • Share › Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. should I translate it on another website or you can support localisation and I do the data entering for french? I'm interested! 9 1 • Reply • Share › Marten Czech Stephane Duguay • 7 months ago learn English! 19 9 • Reply • Share › Marcus Marten Czech • 2 months ago Maybe he means he wants to deliver it to French students. Looks nicer IMHO. there is no reason that everything should be in English. but clearly speaks English (from his comment).ericdrowell 3 Mod Antoine Grondin • 7 months ago Fixed! Thanks • Reply • Share › Quentin Pleplé Antoine Grondin • 7 months ago Agreed • Reply • Share › Stephane Duguay • 7 months ago Hi. • Reply • Share › Anyway I can get a PDF version without taking screenshots myself? • Reply • Share › Anonimancio Cobardoso 5 open in browser PRO version • 7 months ago You could include a chart with logarithmic scale. Don't be ignorant. If he is offering to do the data entry from french.. 4 • Reply • Share › Marten Czech 1 Jon Renner 5 • 5 months ago Marcus • 2 months ago IT world ticks in English. the sooner French realize that the faster we can go together.com ..

am I wrong? Does anybody just learns the paris algorithm_name : complexity. Might include an actual. there is something wrong with that company. without any idea how algorithm works? OMG.. 4 • Reply • Share › ericdrowell 3 Mod IvanKuckir • 7 months ago have you never had a technical interview before? • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir ericdrowell • 7 months ago No.g. But when you know the algorithm. e. I am still a student.com . 5 • Reply • Share › Gábor Nádai • 7 months ago Nice.. heap sort. And I think. You omitted radix sort that can be faster than any of the algorithms you mentioned. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd..5 • Reply • Share › sigmaalgebra • 7 months ago You omitted an in-place. guaranteed O(n log(n)) array sort. precise definition of O().. that if employer wants you to know just algorithm complexity. you already know the complexity. you must talk about some specific algorithm.. 5 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir • 7 months ago Do you really find this useful? When talking about complexity. but not the whole alogrithm. Might mention SAT and related problems in NP-complete where the best known algorithm for a problem of size n has O(2^n).

836) .com . aren't you? :) I have implemented Strassen Algorithm once. this fact does not imply other companies have a lower expectation. So yes. I've worked with algorithms that are O(n^2. that's the one. even though I know some of these. including some of these. but the other half are puzzles that I find (and certainly a lot of people) less helpful . Half of the Google interview questions are good. I don't know all of them. complexity is not always apparent. Anyway. Also. how is that obvious? 2 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir chriswashere818 • 7 months ago You are probably talking about some fast matrix multiplication.8... not everyone will remember the complexity. They might not even need streaming algorithm.1 • Reply • Share › Yeukhon Wong IvanKuckir • 7 months ago That's too strong. One I find useful one is fitting GBs of data into 1M memory if I remember correctly. • Reply • Share › Awesome You should add Are youresource! a developer? Try out the HTML toDijkstra PDF API using a Fibonacci Heap! open in browser PRO version pdfcrowd. just because certain companies are asking algorithms. There are simply too many algorithms. because I am on the hardware side of computer science.. 2 chriswashere818 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir • 7 months ago I don't know every algorithm out there. I found it useful. 2 • Reply • Share › chriswashere818 1 Ankush Gupta • 7 months ago IvanKuckir • 7 months ago Yes. it has complexity around n^2.. Both of them are interested in basic tree/graph and sorting algorithms and give you one or two puzzles that don't really help in real life. Certain people will never use algorithms above tree search or sorting. and therefore. Most of the top companies I know of don't even go with Red-Black tree. Also.

Thank you.com . since we're traversing each node/edge only once.Awesome resource! You should add Dijkstra using a Fibonacci Heap! 3 AmitK 3 maxw3st 3 Nikola 2 • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago Its pretty handy! • Reply • Share › • a year ago This gives me some excellent homework to do of a variety I'm not getting in classes. Good job! • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. • Reply • Share › • 4 months ago Extremely useful and on an easy to remember URL. Thank you! • Reply • Share › Mohamed Shimran • 6 months ago This is damn great :) Ultimate programming tutorials 2 ct01 2 • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago Why is space complexity O(|V|) "good" in some cases and "fair" in others? • Reply • Share › soulmachine • 7 months ago awesome! 2 Nir Alfasi 2 • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago Complexity forBFS/DFS is O(|V| + |E|).

com . Google Docs and more! Page styling via Bootstrap Comments via Disqus Algorithm detail via Wikipedia Big-O complexity chart via MeteorCharts Table source hosted on Github Mashup via @ericdrowell open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.google. Google Calendar.com/apps/business Get Gmail for Business.Load more comments Subscribe Add Disqus to your site Google Apps for Business www.