# Re: Red-black trees?

*From*: Ben Pfaff <blp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>*Date*: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 21:19:12 -0800

CBFalconer <cbfalconer@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

You are misunderstanding the O notation, which doesn't get

altered by the occasional slower operation.

No, you are confusing worst-case complexity with amortized

complexity. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amortized_analysis

for an overview.

Basically:

* Worst-case complexity is the maximum complexity of any

given operation. This is O(n) for insertion into a

hash table that reorganizes itself, since in the worst

case an insertion takes roughly n steps.

* Amortized complexity is the maximum complexity of a

series of operations, divided by the number of

operations. This is O(1) for a well-designed hash

table.

--

"A computer is a state machine.

Threads are for people who cant [sic] program state machines."

--Alan Cox

.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*CBFalconer

**References**:**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Mark Wooding

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Mark Wooding

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Mark Wooding

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*CBFalconer

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*CBFalconer

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*CBFalconer

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*CBFalconer

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*Jon Harrop

**Re: Red-black trees?***From:*CBFalconer

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