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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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 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 .

Theta requires both Big O and Omega. tight[1] upper. 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. [3] Same thing. tightness unknown lower. so that's why it's referred to as a tight bound (it must be both the upper and lower bound). an algorithm taking Omega(n log n) takes at least n log n time but has no upper limit. the growth rate of f(x) is asymptotically proportional to g(n). Here the growth rate is no faster than 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 lower. while Omega is the lower bound. 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. 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). For example.com .

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

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

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. 14. 9.com "Dry Drowning" Claims Life of 10-Year-Old . mooc etc) that would explain each open in browser PRO version pdfcrowd.com . 7. 13. Maybe you could include some Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API resources (links to khan academy. 12.What Parents Need to Watch For iVillage. 11. 8.6. 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. 10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

com . Good job! • Reply • Share › open in browser PRO version Are you a developer? Try out the HTML to PDF API pdfcrowd. since we're traversing each node/edge only once. • 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|).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. Thank you.

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

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