complexity
<algorithm> The level in difficulty in solving mathematically posed
problems as measured by the time, number of steps or arithmetic operations, or
memory space required (called time complexity, computational complexity, and
space complexity, respectively).
The interesting aspect is usually how complexity scales with the size of the
input (the "scalability"), where the size of the input is described by some
number N. Thus an algorithm may have computational complexity O(N^2) (of the
order of the square of the size of the input), in which case if the input
doubles in size, the computation will take four times as many steps. The ideal
is a constant time algorithm (O(1)) or failing that, O(N).
See also NPcomplete.
(19941020)
Nearby terms:
complete theory « complete unification « Complex
Instruction Set Computer « complexity »
complexity analysis » complexity class » complexity
measure
