BIT Numerical Mathematics

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 113–134

Approximate counting: A detailed analysis

  • Philippe Flajolet
Part I Computer Science Ordinary Papers


Approximate counting is an algorithm proposed by R. Morris which makes it possible to keep approximate counts of large numbers in small counters. The algorithm is useful for gathering statistics of a large number of events as well as for applications related to data compression (Todd et al.). We provide here a complete analysis of approximate counting which establishes good convergence properties of the algorithm and allows to quantify precisely complexity-accuracy tradeoffs.


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Copyright information

© BIT Foundations 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Flajolet
    • 1
  1. 1.INRIA, Domaine de Voluceau-RocquencourtLe Chesnay CEDEXFrance

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