# 2.13. Glossary¶

algorithm

a generic, step-by-step list of instructions for solving a problem

average case

refers to when an algorithm performs between its worst and best case given a certain data set or circumstance

best case

refers to when an algorithm performs especially good given a certain data set or circumstance

Big-O notation

another term for order of magnitude; written as $$O(f(n))$$

brute force

technique that tries to exhaust all possibilities of a problem

contains

A hash operation used to check if a table contains a specific element.

contiguous

dynamic size

able to change size automatically

exponential

function represented as a number being raised to a power that increases like $$f(n)= 2^{n}$$

get_item

A hash operation used to retrieve the information associated with a hash key.

hash table

a collection consisting of key-value pairs with an associated hash function that maps the key to the associated value.

linear

function that grows in a one to one relationship with its input like $$f(n) = n$$

logarithmic

functions that are the inverse of exponential functions usually presented as $$f(n) = logn$$

order of magnitude

function describing the part $$T(n)$$ that increases the fastest as the value of n increases (a function describing an algorithm’s steps as the size of the problem increases).

function describing a relationship who’s highest order is a number squared

simplified: $$f(n) = x^{2}$$

complex: $$ax^{2} + bx + c$$

set_item