let's consider that we already have constructed heap array.

so from this, when we do heap sort, the number of elements that have to be sorted decreased. I mean heap decrease.(which also means heap tree level decreases -> downheap operation level decreases

but nlogn means each n nodes has logn operation. But not all nodes do logn(original down heap operation level) operation because of heap tree level decrease.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Note that it is "$O$" in $O(\log n)$. That is to say, it is an upper bound. $\endgroup$
    – hengxin
    Apr 30 '17 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Recall the definition of asymptotic analysis — as a follow up, could you find a tighter upper bound for heap sort than $O(n \log n)$ knowing it's definition? $\endgroup$
    – Nick Zuber
    Apr 30 '17 at 21:22

$n \log n$ means each $n$ nodes has $\log n$ operation.

No, it does not. That's like saying:

\$100 means I sold 100 drinks for \$1 each

Obviously, you could have sold any number of things as long as they add up to \$100.

With algorithm costs it's the same. A sequence of operations taking "time" $\Theta(n \log n)$ means that the "time" costs of all the operations add up to something that behaves roughly like $n \log n$.

Once Landau terms enter the pickture, things get muddled. It's tempting to tread $\sum_{i=1}^n O(\log i)$ in the same way as $\sum_{i=1}^n \log i$, but the former sum doesn't really make sense. I recommend you read our reference questions on algorithm analysis and asymptotics to see how one can arrive at the final result here.


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