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+22 votes

What is the $\text{time complexity}$ of the following recursive function?

int  DoSomething (int n) {
    if (n <= 2)
        return 1;
        return (DoSomething (floor (sqrt(n))) + n);
  1. $\Theta(n^2)$

  2. $\Theta(n \log_2n)$

  3. $\Theta(\log_2n)$

  4. $\Theta(\log_2\log_2n)$

asked in Algorithms by Veteran (59.8k points)
edited by | 6.4k views
Please help me to understand this concept!!!

6 Answers

+40 votes
Best answer

We are asked the time complexity which will be the number of recursive calls in the function as in each call we perform a constant no. of operations and a recursive call. The recurrence relation for this is (considering constant time "$c$" as $1$)

$T(n) = T(\sqrt n) + 1$

$\qquad= T\left(n^{1/4}\right) + 2 $
$\\\qquad=T\left(n^{1/8}\right) + 3 $

Going like this we will eventually reach $T(3)$ or $T(2)$. For asymptotic case this doesn't matter and we can assume we reach $T(2)$ and in next step reach $T(1)$. So, all we want to know is how many steps it takes to reach $T(1)$ which will be $1+ $no. of steps to reach $T(2)$. 

From the recurrence relation we know that $T(2)$ happens when $n^{\left(\frac{1}{2^k}\right)} = 2$.

Taking $\log $ and equating,

$\frac{1}{2^k} \log n = 1$
$ \\\implies 2^k = \log n$
$ \\\implies k = \log \log n$. 

So, $T(1)$ happens in $\log \log n + 1$ calls, but for asymptotic complexity we can write as $\Theta \left( \log \log n\right)$


Substituting values

$T(1) = 1$
$T(2) = 1$
$T(3) = T(1) + 1 = 2$
$T(8) = T(2) + 1 = 2$
$T(9) = T(3) + 1 = 3$

$T\left(\left({\left({2^2}\right)^2}\right)^2\right) = T\left(\left({2^2}\right)^2\right) + 1$
$ \\\quad= T(2^2)+ 2$
$ \\\quad= T(2) + 3 = 1 + 3 = 4, $
$\\ \log \log n = 3 \text{ as } n = 256$.

$T\left(\left({\left({\left({\left({2^2}\right)^2}\right)^2}\right)^2}\right)^2\right) = 6,$
$\\\quad \log \log n = 5 \text{ as } n = 65536 \times 65536 = 2^{32}$

$T\left(2^{(2^{10})}\right) = T\left(2^{512}\right) + 1 $
$\\\quad= T(2^{256}) + 2 $
$\\\quad= T(2^{128}) + 3$
$\\\quad = T(2^{64}) + 4 $
$\\\quad= T(2^{32}) + 5 $
$\\\quad= T(2^{16}) + 6 $
$\\\quad= T(2^8)+7 $
$\\\quad= T(2^4) + 8 $
$\quad\\= T(2^2) + 9$
$\quad = T(2) + 10 = 11,$
$\quad \log \log n = 10$

So, answer is D.

answered by Veteran (399k points)
edited by

T(n)=T(n)+1T(n)=T(n)+1T(n)=T(n)+1why is the recurrence not T(n)=T(root(n)) + n?T(n)=T(n)+1

We are asked to find the time complexity- not the return value of function. Time complexity depends on what happens inside the code w.r.t. $n$. For $n > 2$, we have a recursive call on $\sqrt n$ and then an addition and some assignments and conditional checking - all independent of $n$. So, these all constitute $O(1)$. Ideally I should have used $c$ there instead of $1$ but using $1$ makes calculation easy and is fine for asymptotic complexity.

Suppose the question is for return value, we have to use $n$ instead of $1$.
But the question is also returning value by recurrence .So, why we are not using n
great explanation sir
because n is value not time

@Arjun Sir

after first paragraph of your answer how you write "+1"  at end ...first Line T(n)=T(n−−√)+1

in question it is saying "+n"

return (DoSomething (floor (sqrt(n))) + n);
should'nt the equation be T(n) = sqrt(n) + n as they have in the return statement?
Please read the above comments.
I read your explaination but i am still not clear with it...

What dose that single n stands for?
We are using 1 instead of $n$ because there is no computation associated with $n$ in $doSomething(f(n) + n)$, i.e., We can find the value of $n$ in $O(1)$ time.
+18 votes

Recursive relation for the DoSomething() is

  T(n) =  T(√n) + C1 if n > 2  

We have ignored the floor() part as it doesn’t matter here if it’s a floor or ceiling.

  Let n = 2^m,  T(n) = T(2^m)
  Let T(2^m) =  S(m)

  From the above two, T(n) = S(m)

  S(m) = S(m/2) + C1  /* This is simply binary search recursion*/
  S(m)  = O(logm)      
          = O(loglogn)  /* Since n = 2^m */
  Now, let us go back to the original recursive function T(n) 
  T(n)  = S(m) 
          = O(LogLogn)
answered by Active (4.7k points)

isn't the recurrence 

T(n) =  T(√n) + n, if n > 2     as there is '+n' is the else part ? 
Sorry, I got the answer from Arjun Sir comments.  Thanks
Addition operation taks constant time.
why did you take C1 why not n??
Because c1 is some constant time addition will take constant time as compare to T(n)
thanks got it
+13 votes

T(n)=T(√n) + c  

Let n= 2^m   hence m=log n
T(2^m) = T(√(2^m))+c
Let T(2^m) = S(m)

Now S(m)=S(m/2)+c
Apply master's theorem.
a=1, b=2, k=0,p=0
a=b^k, p>-1,  
Hence S(m)= theta(log m)
Hence it is theta(log log n)  (Since m=log n)

answered by Boss (11.7k points)
@Ahwan why did you take "C" instead of "n"
It is calling itself and doing constant work.  Except calling itself is it doing anything of O(n) ?

  T(2^m) = S(m) 


how did this come? I don't want to memorize it

+2 votes
The program is not going to end when started with n > 2. A suitable base condition is required for the program to stop.

Time complexity for this program should be infinity.
answered by (335 points)
+1 vote
The recurrence relation for this is following:

    $T(n)=T(n^{1/2})+n$ ......(1)

   put  $n=n^{1/2}$

  we get,


  put this in (1), we get,




This will stop when  $n^{1/2^{k}}=2$

Taking log of base 2 both side,we get

$1/2^{k} logn=log2


log log n=k$

T(n)=O(log log n)
answered by (37 points)
0 votes

This is my solution. Please let me know if there is any mistake.

answered by Active (1.3k points)
4=2log2= loglog2 ???
by applying loglogn+n for T(16) the answer coming is 18 not 21....plz can u explain?

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