In computer science, efficiency is used to describe properties of
an algorithm relating to how much of various types of resources it
consumes. The two most frequently encountered are speed or running
time - the time it takes for an algorithm to complete, and 'space'
- the memory or 'non-volatile storage' used by the algorithm during
its operation but also might apply to transmission size - such as
required bandwidth during normal operation or size of external
memory- such as temporary disk space used to accomplish its task
and perhaps even the size of required 'longterm' disk space
required after its operation to record its output or maintain its
required function during its required useful lifetime (examples: a
data table, archive or a computer log) and also the performance per
watt and the total energy, consumed by the chosen hardware
implementation (with its System requirements, necessary auxiliary
support systems including interfaces, cabling, switching, cooling
and security), during its required useful lifetime. See Total cost
of ownership for other potential costs that might be associated
with any particular implementation.
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