laziness, impatience, and hubris  
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Re^4: Prime Number Finderby blokhead (Monsignor) 
on Nov 11, 2005 at 22:58 UTC ( #507881=note: print w/ replies, xml )  Need Help?? 
If the number of bits is constant, then any polynomial time based on it is constant.BigO statements (like an algorithm taking constant or O(1) time) are statements about asymptotic behavior, i.e, how the function behaves in the limit (usually, as input size tends to infinity). If you don't look at them in the limit, then bigOish language (like constant time) is meaningless. How meaningless? Even undecidable languages have a constant time "algorithm" if you consider the input size to be held to a constant. So without viewing things in the limit, all problems become computationally equivalent in the asymptotic language. Update: added citation from parent node blokhead
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