Actually, a year is less than 2^55 nanoseconds. And I wouldn't
call a set with 55 elements "huge". Beware of the power of
exponentation. Your computer needs to speed up with a factor
of 1000 to be able to increase your dataset with no more than
10 so that it will run in the same time....
Re: An informal introduction to O(N) notation
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Sigh. That's what I get for not checking my arithmetic. You're right, of course. I stand corrected on this example, but if you change the example to be O(1) at 1 year vs. O(N^2) at 1ns*N^2, the size of the dataset for the second to become slower becomes a lot larger. (Specificly, around 178 million items.) Also, there's the consideration of O() notation being the worst-case senerio. For example, even though bubble-sort is O(N^2), for nearly-sorted input, it can be quit efficent.
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