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 .

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.

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 .

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). In other words. Theta requires both Big O and Omega. For example.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. tight[1] upper. an algorithm taking Omega(n log n) takes at least n log n time but has no upper limit. open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. the growth rate of f(x) is asymptotically proportional to g(n). big-oh is the most useful because represents the worstcase behavior. 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 lower.com . [3] Same thing. while Omega is the lower bound. so that's why it's referred to as a tight bound (it must be both the upper and lower bound).|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 lower. tightness unknown upper. Here the growth rate is no faster than g(n).

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

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

Maybe you could include some Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API resources (links to khan academy.com . 7. 8.com "Dry Drowning" Claims Life of 10-Year-Old .6. mooc etc) that would explain each open in browser PRO version pdfcrowd. 13. 12. 14. 9. 10. 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. 11.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.What Parents Need to Watch For iVillage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. 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. guaranteed O(n log(n)) array sort. heap sort. without any idea how algorithm works? OMG. You omitted radix sort that can be faster than any of the algorithms you mentioned..g. that if employer wants you to know just algorithm complexity. 5 • Reply • Share › Gábor Nádai • 7 months ago Nice.com . And I think.5 • Reply • Share › sigmaalgebra • 7 months ago You omitted an in-place. but not the whole alogrithm. 5 • Reply • Share › IvanKuckir • 7 months ago Do you really find this useful? When talking about complexity.. 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 already know the complexity. precise definition of O(). But when you know the algorithm.. e. you must talk about some specific algorithm. Might include an actual.. there is something wrong with that company. am I wrong? Does anybody just learns the paris algorithm_name : complexity. I am still a student.

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

Thank you.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. since we're traversing each node/edge only once. Good job! • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd.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|). • Reply • Share › • 4 months ago Extremely useful and on an easy to remember URL.

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