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!
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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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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.com .

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 .

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.

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. big-oh is the most useful because represents the worstcase behavior. Theta requires both Big O and Omega. tight[1] upper. tightness unknown lower. so that's why it's referred to as a tight bound (it must be both the upper and lower bound). the growth rate of f(x) is asymptotically proportional to g(n). For example. 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). an algorithm taking Omega(n log n) takes at least n log n time but has no upper limit. 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. tightness unknown upper. not tight lower.|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. [3] Same thing. while Omega is the lower bound.com . open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. In other words. Here the growth rate is no faster than g(n).

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

com . 4. 3.Contributors Edit these tables! 1. 5. 2. 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.

What Parents Need to Watch For iVillage. 9.com "Dry Drowning" Claims Life of 10-Year-Old . 11. 7.com . 8. 12. 14. 10.6. 13. mooc etc) that would explain each open in browser PRO version pdfcrowd. Maybe you could include some Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API resources (links to khan academy.com Decking Your Apartment for the Holidays Remodelista Sex: The Best Painkiller and Cancer Preventer Daily Health Post 148 comments Join the discussion… Best Community Michael Mitchell • 7 months ago Share This is great. Jay Engineer Josh Davis makosblade Alejandro Ramirez Joel Friedly Robert Burke David Dorfman Eric Lefevre-Ardant Thomas Dybdahl Ahle AROUND THE WEB What the Bible Says About Money (Shocking) Moneynews Malcolm Gladwell answers questions about Competing in Today's … OPEN Forum The Best Pizza in Every State: 50 Amazing Pies Across America Zagat Want to Declutter Your Desk: Here's the Ultimate Way to Do It My Life Scoop Avoid These 10 Jobs: They Have No Future Kiplinger.

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

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

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

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

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

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

. 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. • 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.. the sooner French realize that the faster we can go together. • Reply • Share › Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. Don't be ignorant. Looks nicer IMHO.com . If he is offering to do the data entry from french. I'd like to use a french version of this page in class. but clearly speaks English (from his comment). there is no reason that everything should be in English.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. 4 • Reply • Share › Marten Czech 1 Jon Renner 5 • 5 months ago Marcus • 2 months ago IT world ticks in English.

But when you know the algorithm. there is something wrong with that company.. you already know the complexity. guaranteed O(n log(n)) array sort.. precise definition of O(). heap sort. You omitted radix sort that can be faster than any of the algorithms you mentioned. I am still a student. 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. 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).. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. you must talk about some specific algorithm. 5 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir • 7 months ago Do you really find this useful? When talking about complexity. And I think. that if employer wants you to know just algorithm complexity. e. Might include an actual. am I wrong? Does anybody just learns the paris algorithm_name : complexity.g.. without any idea how algorithm works? OMG..com .5 • Reply • Share › sigmaalgebra • 7 months ago You omitted an in-place. 5 • Reply • Share › Gábor Nádai • 7 months ago Nice.

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

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. 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.com . 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|). Thank you.

Load more comments Subscribe Add Disqus to your site Google Apps for Business www. Google Calendar.google. 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.com/apps/business Get Gmail for Business.com .

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