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Algorithms in C, Parts 1-4: Fundamentals, Data Structures, Sorting, Searching, Third Edition by Robert Sedgewick

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Chapter Two. Principles of Algorithm Analysis

Analysis is the key to being able to understand algorithms sufficiently well that we can apply them effectively to practical problems. Although we cannot do extensive experimentation and deep mathematical analysis on each and every program that we run, we can work within a basic framework involving both empirical testing and approximate analysis that can help us to know the important facts about the performance characteristics of our algorithms, so that we may compare those algorithms and can apply them to practical problems.

The very idea of describing the performance of a complex algorithm accurately with a mathematical analysis seems a daunting prospect at first, and we do often call on the research ...

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