Efficiency of algorithms


Algorithms consume resources

Executing computer algorithms is not free. The primary resources consumed are:

Comparing algorithms

One dimension for comparing competing algorithms that solve the same problem is resource consumption - the less the better.


From an historical perspective, algorithms have been around forever. Mathematicians use algorithms all the time, though they might call them constructions.

Computer science is the discipline having the cost of executing algorithms as a central concern.

Mathematicians, on the other hand, are usually concerned only that their constructions prove the existence of something.

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Last updated 2000/05/23
© L. Heath & J.A.N. Lee, 2000.