Definition: The theoretical speed of a given set of operations. It is O(f(n)) when the execution time of the worst case of all sequences of n operations never exceeds O(n*f(n)).
See also potential function, best-case cost, average-case cost, worst-case cost.
Note: The term "amortized worst case" is sometimes used to emphasize that the worst case of a set of operations is averaged.
R. E. Tarjan, Amortized computational complexity, SIAM Journal on Algebraic and Discrete Methods, 6(2):306-318, 1985.
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Entry modified 17 December 2004.
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Cite this as:
Chris L. Kuszmaul, "amortized cost", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed., U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/amortizdcost.html