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# Introductory Discussions On Complexity Analysis

05/07/2017 0 0

What is Complexity Analysis of Algorithm?

Complexity Analysis, simply put, is a technique through which you can judge about how good one particular algorithm is.  Now the term “good” can mean many things at different times.

So what are the criteria while analyzing complexities of algorithms?

Focusing only on algorithms, the criteria are Time and Space. The criteria Time, judges how fast or slow the algorithms run when executed; and the criteria Space judges how big or small amount of memory (on primary/hard disks) is required to execute the algorithm. Depending on these two measuring criteria, two type of Algorithm Analysis are done; one is called Time Complexity Analysis and the second one is Space Complexity Analysis.

Which one is more important over the other?

I am sorry! I do not know the answer; rather there is no straight forward answer to this question. Think of yourself. Thinking of the previous example of many solutions that you have for travelling from your home to Esplanade, which criteria is most important? Is it Time of Travel, or is it Comfort? Or is it Financial Cost? It depends actually. While you are in hurry for shopping at New Market, the Time Taken would probably be your choice. If you have enough time in your hand, if you are in jolly mood and if you are going for a delicious dinner with your friends, probably you would choose Comfort; and at the end of the month, when you are running short with your pocket money, the Financial Cost would be most important to you.  So the most important criterion is a dynamic notion that evolves with time.

Twenty or thirty years back, when the pace of advancement of Electronics and Computer Hardware was timid, computer programs were forced to run with lesser amount of memory.  Today you may have gigantic memory even as RAM, but that time, thinking of a very large hard disk was a day dreaming! So at that time, Space Complexity was much more important than the Time Complexity, because we had lesser memory but ample times.

Now the time has changed! Now a day, we generally enjoy large memories but sorry, we don’t have enough time with us. We need every program to run as quick as possible! So currently, Time Complexity wins over Space Complexity.  Honestly, both of these options are equally important from theoretical perspective but the changing time has an effect to these.

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