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An algorithmic and complexity analysis of interpolation search

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We begin with a brief survey of the literature concerning the Interpolation Search algorithm, then provide a detailed description of the algorithm and how to implement it to search a particular table or file. We next analyze the complexity of the search method by investigating the moments of the distribution of the number of table accesses needed to locate a given record. For a table containing n entries, we find that the expected value of the number of accesses is log2 log2 n+O(1) and that the variance is O(log2 log2 n). Lastly we provide some approximations for the expected value for the successful and unsuccessful search in such a table.

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Gonnet, G.H., Rogers, L.D. & Alan George, J. An algorithmic and complexity analysis of interpolation search. Acta Informatica 13, 39–52 (1980).

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