Definition: (1) Any function which is the sum of constants times other constants to the power of the argument: f(x)=Σi=0k cibixpi. (2) In complexity theory, the measure of computation, m(n) (usually execution time or memory space), is bounded by an exponential function of the problem size, n. More formally if there exists k > 1 such that m(n) = Θ(kn) and there exists c such that m(n) = O(cn).

See also logarithmic, linear, polynomial, moderately exponential.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 17 December 2004.
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Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "exponential", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Paul E. Black, ed. 17 December 2004. (accessed TODAY) Available from: