Definition: A algorithm whose execution time, f(n), grows slower than the size of the problem, n, but only gives an approximate or probably correct answer.
Generalization (I am a kind of ...)
polynomial time algorithm with k < 1, probabilistic algorithm.
Specialization (... is a kind of me.)
logarithmic time algorithm.
Aggregate parent (I am a part of or used in ...)
quicksort: finding the pivot is a sublinear time algorithm for finding the median.
Note: A sublinear time algorithm doesn't even have the time to consider all the input; it can only sample the input. Binary search is not considered a sublinear time algorithm because the ordering property allows an accurate algorithm in less than linear time.
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Entry modified 23 December 2004.
HTML page formatted Fri Mar 25 16:20:35 2011.
Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "sublinear time algorithm", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed., U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. 23 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: http://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/sublinearTimeAlgo.html