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Computer Science Introduction to Algorithms Recursion and Space Complexity Space Complexity

Jeremy Ashcraft
Jeremy Ashcraft
13,887 Points

each recursive call is put in memory on the stack, why do we not factor this into the space complexity calc?

since each recursive call results in a new frame on the stack, thus requiring more memory with each recursive call—why do we not factor in the growing memory requirements caused by recursion when assessing the efficiency of space used in our algorithm?

is the extra memory negligible? is this largely dependant on the language's implementation of recursion? does tail optimization resolve this?

1 Answer

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
218,653 Points

Each frame does add some space, but it's the same amount for each call. Since the actual quantity of bytes isn't used for the purposes of complexity analysis, the fact that a portion of the total is taken up by the frame doesn't change the complexity factor.