worst case


Definition: (1) The situation or input that forces an algorithm or data structure to take the most time or resources. (2) Having to do with this situation or input.

See also best case, average case, worst-case cost, worst-case execution time, amortized cost, complexity, randomized algorithm, worst-case minimum access, adversary.

Note: See the notes on worst-case behavior at Huffman coding and balanced quicksort and the link at BB(α) tree.

Author: PEB

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Entry modified 12 August 2014.
HTML page formatted Fri Feb 23 10:06:08 2018.

Cite this as:
Paul E. Black, "worst case", in Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures [online], Vreda Pieterse and Paul E. Black, eds. 12 August 2014. (accessed TODAY) Available from: