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Computer Science Introduction to Algorithms Playing a Counting Game Evaluating Binary Search

Louis Sankey
Louis Sankey
22,595 Points

Is 'n' typically the size of the data set, or the number to be searched for (or can it be either)?

I did a search but I'm still a little confused on this point.

Louis Sankey
Louis Sankey
22,595 Points

Thanks, I think that's clear!

2 Answers

Hello Louis,

In the context of determining complexity, n refers to the size of the input in terms of how many elements it has.

I found the following quote on the Algorithmic Complexity web page by Victor S. Adamchik:

We define complexity as a numerical function T(n) - time versus the input size *n*

In the linear and binary search videos, the input set would be the range of numbers against which a check is being made.

I hope this helps.

Please let me know if it is still unclear!

what does "element" mean in this definition?

"Element" simply refers to the items in the input. For example if the input is an array with 10 items, we can also say that it has 10 elements.