4 Part I Foundations Chapter 4 delves further into the divide-and-conquer method introduced in Chapter 2. In particular, Chapter 4 contains methods for solving recurrences, which are useful for describing the running times of recursive algorithms. One powerful technique is the “master method,” which can be used to solve recurrences that arise from divide-and-conquer algorithms. Much of Chapter 4 is devoted to proving the correctness of the master method, though this proof may be skipped without harm. Chapter 5 introduces probabilistic analysis and randomized algorithms. We typ-ically use probabilistic analysis to determine the running time of an algorithm in cases in which, due to the presence of an inherent probability distribution, the running time may differ on different inputs of the same size. In some cases, we assume that the inputs conform to a known probability distribution, so that we are averaging the running time over all possible inputs. In other cases, the probability
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