# Deeply Understanding Logarithms In Time Complexities & Their Role In Computer Science

TLDRThis video aims to demystify logarithms in time complexities, a concept crucial for understanding algorithms like binary search, merge sort, and quicksort. It explains the fundamental question a logarithm asks and illustrates how logarithmic time complexity emerges in binary tree traversals and recursive algorithms. The video clarifies that logarithms are about halving processes, which is evident in binary search where the search space is repeatedly divided. By the end, viewers should grasp why logarithms are significant in computer science and how they indicate a problem-solving approach involving a reduction of the search base.

### Takeaways

- 📚 Logarithms are crucial in understanding time complexities in computer science, especially in algorithms like binary search, merge sort, and quicksort.
- 🔍 A logarithm fundamentally asks how many times a certain base must be multiplied by itself to reach a given number, with log base two being commonly used in computer science.
- ✂️ The concept of a logarithm is closely related to the idea of 'cutting in half', which is a common operation in binary structures and algorithms.
- 🌐 In computer science, log base two is typically implied and used without explicitly stating the base, unlike in general mathematics where log base ten is often assumed.
- 🌳 When dealing with binary trees, the height of the tree can be represented as 1 plus the floor of the logarithm of the number of nodes, showcasing the logarithmic relationship.
- 🔢 The number of times an array can be halved until reaching a single element is represented by the logarithm of the array's length, which is key in understanding algorithms like merge sort and quicksort.
- 🛠️ Merge sort and quicksort have a time complexity of O(n log n) because they involve splitting the input into halves (logarithmic levels of work) and then combining them.
- 🔍 Binary search operates on sorted arrays and can find an item or determine its absence with at most log base two of the array's size comparisons, showcasing logarithmic efficiency.
- 📉 The floor function is used in logarithmic expressions to indicate that only whole levels are considered, ignoring any fractional parts.
- 🔑 Understanding logarithms helps in recognizing patterns in algorithms that involve halving or dividing the problem space into parts, which is common in tree traversals and searches.
- 🚀 Grasping the concept of logarithms in time complexities empowers software engineers to better analyze and optimize algorithms during technical interviews.

### Q & A

### What is the main topic discussed in the video?

-The main topic discussed in the video is the concept of logarithms in time complexities and their role in computer science.

### Why are logarithms often seen in the context of binary search, merge sort, and quicksort?

-Logarithms appear in these contexts because they represent the process of repeatedly dividing a problem into halves, which is a fundamental operation in binary search, merge sort, and quicksort algorithms.

### What does the logarithm function essentially ask when it is written as log base two?

-The logarithm function asks, 'What power must I raise the base (in this case, 2) to in order to get the number in the parentheses?'

### How is the concept of logarithms related to the number of times a number can be divided by two?

-The concept of logarithms is related to the number of times a number can be divided by two because the process of finding a logarithm base two involves determining how many times you can halve the number until you reach one.

### Why is log base two commonly used in computer science?

-Log base two is commonly used in computer science because it aligns with the binary nature of computing, where operations often involve dividing or doubling quantities, and it is the implicit base when discussing time complexities.

### What does the 'floor' function do in the context of logarithms?

-The 'floor' function truncates the decimal part of a number, effectively rounding down to the nearest whole number. In the context of logarithms, it is used to determine the minimum number of levels in a binary structure.

### How does the height of a binary tree relate to its time complexity?

-The height of a binary tree is directly related to its time complexity because operations such as searching or traversing the tree can take up to logarithmic time relative to the height of the tree.

### What is the time complexity of merge sort and quicksort algorithms in terms of their best-case scenario?

-The best-case time complexity for both merge sort and quicksort algorithms is O(n log n), which comes from the combination of linear work done at each level of the recursion and the logarithmic number of levels.

### Why is the logarithm base relevant when discussing the time complexity of binary search?

-The logarithm base is relevant because it determines the number of times the search space can be halved. In computer science, log base two is used because it corresponds to the binary nature of data division in binary search.

### How does the process of binary search relate to the concept of logarithms?

-Binary search involves repeatedly halving the search space until the target value is found or the space is exhausted. This halving process is directly related to the concept of logarithms, as it represents the number of times the original space can be divided by two.

### What is the significance of understanding logarithms in computer science?

-Understanding logarithms in computer science is significant because it helps in analyzing and predicting the time complexity of algorithms that involve operations like halving a dataset or traversing binary structures.

### Outlines

### 📚 Introduction to Logarithms in Time Complexity

This paragraph introduces the topic of logarithms within the context of time complexities in computer science. The speaker aims to provide an intuitive understanding of logarithms, particularly how they appear in algorithms like binary search, merge sort, and quicksort. The explanation begins with the fundamental concept of a logarithm, using the example of log base two of eight, to illustrate the process of repeated division by two. The paragraph emphasizes the importance of recognizing logarithms as a measure of 'cutting in half' and highlights the prevalence of log base two in computer science, as opposed to log base ten in general mathematics. The purpose is to set the stage for understanding the role of logarithms in determining the efficiency of various algorithms.

### 🔍 Logarithms in Algorithmic Time Complexity

The second paragraph delves into the application of logarithms in algorithmic time complexities, focusing on binary structures like binary trees and the concept of logarithmic time complexity. It explains how the number of levels in a binary tree can be determined by taking the logarithm base two of the number of nodes, using the example of a tree with 9 nodes, which would have approximately 4 levels (log base 2 of 9 is approximately 3.17, and using the floor function to truncate the decimal gives 3). The paragraph also discusses the time complexity of merge sort and quicksort, which are O(n log n), and explains that this complexity arises because these algorithms involve splitting the input into halves (logarithmic levels of work) and then performing linear work at each level. Additionally, binary search is introduced as another example where logarithms play a crucial role, as it involves repeatedly halving the search space until the target element is found, with the maximum number of halving operations being equal to the logarithm base two of the size of the array.

### Mindmap

### Keywords

### 💡Logarithms

### 💡Time Complexity

### 💡Binary Search

### 💡Merge Sort

### 💡Quicksort

### 💡Base of Logarithm

### 💡Floor Function

### 💡Exponential Quantities

### 💡Halving

### 💡Recursion

### Highlights

The video aims to provide an intuitive understanding of logarithms in time complexities.

Logarithms often appear in time complexities for algorithms like binary search, merge sort, and quicksort.

A logarithm asks the question: 'What power do we need to raise the base to get the number in the parenthesis?'

Log base two of eight asks how many times we need to divide by two to get from eight down to one.

In computer science, log base two is commonly used, whereas in general mathematics, log base ten is often assumed.

Logarithms are about calculating powers and exponential quantities.

The concept of logarithms is relevant in computer science for binary structures like binary trees.

The height of a balanced binary tree can be represented as 1 plus the floor of log base two of the number of nodes.

In merge sort and quicksort, the time complexity involves n log n due to the logarithmic levels of work.

Binary search is an example where the search space is halved at each step, leading to a logarithmic time complexity.

The maximum number of halving operations in binary search corresponds to the logarithm of the array size.

Logarithmic complexity suggests a problem involves halving the search space or traversing a binary tree.

Understanding logarithms helps in deducing the time complexity of algorithms that involve binary operations.

The video explains the relevance of logarithms in computer science with clear examples and analogies.

Logarithms are fundamental to understanding the efficiency of algorithms that perform binary operations.

The video concludes with the significance of logarithms in time complexities for software engineers preparing for interviews.