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BigO Cheat Sheet
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Know Thy Complexities!
Hi there! This webpage covers the space and time BigO 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 BigO cheat sheet?". So, to save all of you fine folks a ton of time, I went ahead and created one. Enjoy!
Good Fair Poor
Searching
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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 Minheap 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(VE)
O(VE)
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.
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 BTree RedBlack 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.
an algorithm taking Omega(n log n) takes at least n log n time but has no upper limit. tightness unknown upper. so that's why it's referred to as a tight bound (it must be both the upper and lower bound).com . Theta requires both Big O and Omega. not tight 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. bigoh is the most useful because represents the worstcase behavior.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. [3] Same thing. Here the growth rate is no faster than g(n).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 (bigoh) O (smalloh) o (big omega) Ω (small omega) ω bound upper and lower. In other words. tightness unknown lower. For example. the growth rate of f(x) is asymptotically proportional to g(n). open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. while Omega is the lower bound. tight[1] upper. 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).
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.google.In short. while O(1) is the best complexity. shows the number of operations (y axis) required to obtain a result as the number of elements (x axis) increase. which only requires a constant number of operations for any number of elements. Google Calendar.com . Google Docs and more! BigO Complexity Chart This interactive chart. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. created by our friends over at MeteorCharts.com/apps/business Get Gmail for Business.
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.Contributors Edit these tables! 1.com . 2. 4. 5. 3.
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This course has just begun on coursera (dated 1 July 2013).mit..com/course.mit. #1) http://aduni. https://www.. and looks very good.com .. Sincerely. probably as good or maybe better # 2...udacity... http://ocw. mooc etc) that would explain each of these concepts for people trying to learn them.edu/courses/ele..com/quest. Maybe you could include some resources (links to khan academy. but I have not had a chance to look at it.org/cours. • Reply • Share › Arjan Nieuwenhuizen Michael Mitchell • 5 months ago Here are the links that I know of. Arjan p. Espaecially the coursera.edu/courses/ele. #2) http://ocw.) • Reply • Share › Gokce Toykuyu • a year ago open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. 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. 3 • Reply • Share › fireheron Arjan Nieuwenhuizen • 2 months ago Thank you Arjan. #3) https://www.org one ..org/courses/algor...s.coursera..This is great.
22 • Reply • Share › Jon Renner 30 1 • 7 months ago This is god's work. It might take you a long time to get it working. deletion.Gokce Toykuyu 29 • a year ago Could we add some tree algorithms and complexities? Thanks.) • Reply • Share › ericdrowell Mod Gokce Toykuyu • a year ago Excellent idea. but Pandoc is an amazing one stop shop for file conversion.. I'll add a section that compares insertion. ".net/pand. I really like the RedBlack trees . and search complexities for specific data structures 23 Darren Le Redgatr • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago I came here from an idle twitter click. Thx • Reply • Share › Gene qwertykeyboard • a month ago You could convert the document yourself using Pandoc: http://johnmacfarlane. 1 • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. I have no idea what it's talking about or any of the comments. and cross platform compatible. Cheers. • Reply • Share › Adam Heinermann 19 • 6 months ago Is there a printerfriendly version? • Reply • Share › qwertykeyboard 14 • 7 months ago It would be very helpful to have export to PDF. But I love the fact there are people out there this clever. Makes me think that one day humanity will come good..com . If I understand big oh notation correctly I might say "I estimate your learning rate for learning Pandoc will be O(1).
how much does it take to delete it?". 11 1 guest 6 • Reply • Share › tempire • 7 months ago • Reply • Share › I think big O is just an upper bound. Oleksandr Luis • 2 months ago open in browser PRO version @Luis That is WRONG. @tempire is correct. Big O (Omicron) is the Worst Case Scenario. Big O cannot be used for lower. worst and average) cases. not average case. singlelinked lists take O(N) since you have to search for the element that points to the element being deleted. average. Doublelinked lists solve this problem. Am I wrong? Luis 2 guest • 7 months ago • Reply • Share › You are right.. 2. For the question of "Here's a pointer to an element. It is the upper bound for for the Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd..com . Deletion/insertion in a single linked list is implementation dependent. you end up with a worst case of O(loglogN). 13 Guest • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago Finals are already over. It could be used for all (best. 3. Big O is worst case. the table should probably also contain heaps and the complexities for the operation "Get Minimum". 9 • Reply • Share › Blake Jennings 8 tempire • 7 months ago i'm literally crying • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago This chart seems misleading..) shouldn't be used in the average case columns. and upper bound. ~ is average case. Using a double hashing algorithm. Hashes come in a million varieties. However with a good distribution function they are O(logN) worst case.Valentin Stanciu • 7 months ago 1... This should have been shared a week ago! Would have saved me like 45 minutes of using Wikipedia. For trees. O(.
Omega is the lower bound.. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.Y. etc. " at most 135 dollars"). but big O and related concepts are used to bound the order (linear. the best case still has an upper time bound of O(1) (it takes constant time to find an element in index 0. i. As the size of the problem grows (the array to be searched grows in size).upper bound. 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. the list sorted but backwards. Your example about the dollars states specific amounts (e. • Reply • Share › Oleksandr1 Luis • a month ago You make a very poor assumption that because a specific value is given.. For instance in a linear search algorithm. This is the most beneficially piece of information to have about an algorithm but unfortunately it is usually very hard to find. vs. Big O (Omicron) is the Worst Case Scenario. until we find the object in the last index where we look. To be more appropriate.) with problem size. 135 dollars to get to New York." The first bit of information from Omega is essentially useless. Simply this is a computational exercise to extract the empirical data. your example should be modified to say something like "it takes at most 2$ per mile" (linear). you can thus understand how big O can be used both for. or another fixed position). say. Theta is the upper and lower bound together. There is another problem I do not like is the color scheme is sometimes wrong.g. You can usually find that average for an algorithms efficiency by testing it in average case and worst cases together.). Take your linear search. but we have done this. With this in mind.com . n. at most. However. the best and the worst case. exponential. to the novice. This is almost pointless to have. etc. the third however gives you the constraint.e. worst case is when the list is completed out of order. 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. Its will always take. 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. time. 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.) of a function that describes how an algorithm grows (in space. honestly it needs to be taken with a grain of salt and fact check with a good algorithm book. It is the upper bound for for the algorithm.
has useless/meaningless information) Here are the statements in this argument: Statement i) "The table is wrong in using BigO notation for all columns". that lead to the eventual misunderstanding.. but none. correct combinations. 135 being the Omicron value. I agree about what you said about linear search algorithm. The point is that Big O is the upper bound of a function. On the linear search algorithm. there are three different statements in this argument. As for the example. In fact there are an infinite amount of Big O's for any elementary functions. each useful for a different use case. see Statement iii and Example (a) in the end). but for you I change situation and values. The main confusion is between the terms "case" and "bound". This statement is open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. and do not have any relation with each other. These are orthogonal terms. You should read up on this because this is very important. which has the worst can scenario when a list is fed to said algorithm in order. forgive me. I meant to say Linear Sort Algorithm. you have a lowerbound for averagecase. I'm not sure why you don't understand a very clear analogy. BUT it will never run more than 135 iterations. this is a complete misunderstanding of Omega vs Omicron. $135 dollars was given as an upper bound. . Given function unknown. I • Reply • Share › see more Yavuz Yetim Oleksandr1 • a month ago @Oleksandr @Luis IMHO. but backwards.. 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 bigO. 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.than it must be a linear function. it will run more than five iterations (Omega). or upperbound for bestcase. (in total 9 different. or any such number I specify to be used in the example. For example. $5 was the Omega value. Big O cannot be used for the best case scenario.com .
Your example about the dollars states specific amounts (e. until we find the object in the last index where we look. see more • Reply • Share › Guest Oleksandr • 2 months ago @Oleksandr You are confused.) of a function that describes how an algorithm grows (in space. would be more appropriate listed as Graph instead of Tree. but big O and related concepts are used to bound the order (linear. say. etc. With this in mind. BigO notation does not have anything to do with the worst case. One correct representation for this function is O(n). under Search.). BigO notation is only a representation for a function.) with problem size. your example should be modified to say something like "it takes at most 2$ per mile" (linear). or another fixed position). " at most 135 dollars"). To be more appropriate.g. Take your linear search.Statement i) "The table is wrong in using BigO notation for all columns". the best and the worst case. n. This statement is false because the table is correct.com . you can thus understand how big O can be used both for. exponential. etc. Therefore. time. average case or the best case. the best case still has an upper time bound of O(1) (it takes constant time to find an element in index 0. (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. As the size of the problem grows (the array to be searched grows in size). Let's say the bestcase run time for an algorithm for a given input of size n is exactly (3*n + 1). writing O(n) for a bestcase entry is correct. Thanks! • Reply • Share › • 7 months ago I think DFS and BFS. 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. • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.
Looks nicer IMHO. If he is offering to do the data entry from french.com . the sooner French realize that the faster we can go together. • 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.. 4 • Reply • Share › Marten Czech 1 Jon Renner 5 • 5 months ago Marcus • 2 months ago IT world ticks in English. 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.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.. I'd like to use a french version of this page in class. there is no reason that everything should be in English. • Reply • Share › Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. Don't be ignorant. but clearly speaks English (from his comment).
But when you know the algorithm. without any idea how algorithm works? OMG. you must talk about some specific algorithm.5 • Reply • Share › sigmaalgebra • 7 months ago You omitted an inplace.. You omitted radix sort that can be faster than any of the algorithms you mentioned. precise definition of O(). 5 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir • 7 months ago Do you really find this useful? When talking about complexity. Might mention SAT and related problems in NPcomplete where the best known algorithm for a problem of size n has O(2^n). e.com . you already know the complexity. Might include an actual.. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. I am still a student. heap sort.. there is something wrong with that company. 5 • Reply • Share › Gábor Nádai • 7 months ago Nice. am I wrong? Does anybody just learns the paris algorithm_name : complexity. 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. And I think. guaranteed O(n log(n)) array sort.. that if employer wants you to know just algorithm complexity.. but not the whole alogrithm.
that's the one. 2 • Reply • Share › chriswashere818 1 Ankush Gupta • 7 months ago IvanKuckir • 7 months ago Yes. 2 chriswashere818 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir • 7 months ago I don't know every algorithm out there. even though I know some of these.836) .. I found it useful. but the other half are puzzles that I find (and certainly a lot of people) less helpful .1 • Reply • Share › Yeukhon Wong IvanKuckir • 7 months ago That's too strong. I've worked with algorithms that are O(n^2. • 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. not everyone will remember the complexity. They might not even need streaming algorithm. this fact does not imply other companies have a lower expectation. Most of the top companies I know of don't even go with RedBlack tree. Certain people will never use algorithms above tree search or sorting. So yes. how is that obvious? 2 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir chriswashere818 • 7 months ago You are probably talking about some fast matrix multiplication. it has complexity around n^2. There are simply too many algorithms.. and therefore. aren't you? :) I have implemented Strassen Algorithm once. because I am on the hardware side of computer science.. complexity is not always apparent. I don't know all of them. Also. Half of the Google interview questions are good.8. including some of these. Also. One I find useful one is fitting GBs of data into 1M memory if I remember correctly. 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.com .. Anyway. just because certain companies are asking algorithms.
Good job! • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.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. • 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 . since we're traversing each node/edge only once. Thank you.
Google Calendar. Google Docs and more! Page styling via Bootstrap Comments via Disqus Algorithm detail via Wikipedia BigO 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.Load more comments Subscribe Add Disqus to your site Google Apps for Business www.google.com/apps/business Get Gmail for Business.com .