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Performance Analysis

What is Performance Analysis of an algorithm?

If we want to go from city "A" to city "B", there can be many ways of doing this. We can go by flight, by bus, by train and also by bicycle. Depending on the availability and convenience, we choose the one which suits us. Similarly, in computer science there are multiple algorithms to solve a problem. When we have more than one algorithm to solve a problem, we need to select the best one. Performance analysis helps us to select the best algorithm from multiple algorithms to solve a problem.
When there are multiple alternative algorithms to solve a problem, we analyse them and pick the one which is best suitable for our requirements. Formal definition is as follows...

Performance of an algorithm is a process of making evaluative judgement about algorithms.

It can also be defined as follows...

Performance of an algorithm means predicting the resources which are required to an algorithm to perform its task.

That means when we have multiple algorithms to solve a problem, we need to select a suitable algorithm to solve that problem.
We compare algorithms with each other which are solving same problem, to select the best algorithm. To compare algorithms, we use a set of parameters or set of elements like memory required by that algorithm, execution speed of that algorithm, easy to understand, easy to implement, etc.,

Generally, the performance of an algorithm depends on the following elements...

  1. Whether that algorithm is providing the exact solution for the problem?
  2. Whether it is easy to understand?
  3. Whether it is easy to implement?
  4. How much space (memory) it requires to solve the problem?
  5. How much time it takes to solve the problem? Etc.,

When we want to analyse an algorithm, we consider only the space and time required by that particular algorithm and we ignore all the remaining elements.
Based on this information, performance analysis of an algorithm can also be defined as follows...

Performance analysis of an algorithm is the process of calculating space and time required by that algorithm.

Performance analysis of an algorithm is performed by using the following measures...

  1. Space required to complete the task of that algorithm (Space Complexity). It includes program space and data space
  2. Time required to complete the task of that algorithm (Time Complexity)
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