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I need to give a tight asymptotic bound to this recurrence relation.

The recurrence is:

T(n) = T(n-1) + 2n - 1

I realize that this is fairly simple. I am asking where to start? If I should use the substitution method, what would be a good guess? I do not need help solving it, what I need is just the start. That is where I am confused.

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  • $\begingroup$ You should immediately realize this is a quadratic relationship because as $n$ increases $2n-1$ also increases at the same rate and then use induction to prove both upper and lower boundness for $\theta(n^2)$. $\endgroup$ – cr001 Sep 18 '17 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ Can you clarify your reasoning for the quadratic relationship? $\endgroup$ – jenkelblankel Sep 18 '17 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Think in terms of actual coding: It is like a recursion: in every iteration of the function, we call itself once and do $2n-1$ things. Because it calls itself only once there is no branching in the recursion tree. Hence it is essentially a for-loop with $n$ iterations, each iteration doing (2i-1) things where $i=1..n$. $\endgroup$ – cr001 Sep 18 '17 at 22:20
  • $\begingroup$ Ok I see that now. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – jenkelblankel Sep 18 '17 at 22:38
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1. Solve linear equation

Solve homogeneous equation $T(n)=T(n-1)$ thus $T(n)=cst$.

Find a particular solution : $T(n)=(an^2+bn+c)(1^n)\quad$ (generally one more degree than RHS)

$an^2+bn+c=a(n-1)^2+b(n-1)+c+2n-1\iff 0=-2an+a-b+2n-1\iff 2n(1-a)+(a-b-1)=0\iff a=1,\ b=0$

Final solution $T(n)=n^2+c$


2. Telescoping method

$T(n)-T(0)=\sum\limits_{k=1}^n \left(T(k)-T(k-1)\right)=\sum\limits_{k=1}^n (2k-1)=n(n+1)-n=n^2$

Thus $T(n)=n^2+T(0)$

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. Thanks a ton. $\endgroup$ – jenkelblankel Sep 18 '17 at 23:19

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