Trie complexity and searching

The complexity of creating a trie is O(W*L), where W is the number of words, and L is an average length of the word: you need to perform L lookups on the average for each of the W words in the set.

Same goes for looking up words later: you perform L steps for each of the W words.

Hash insertions and lookups have the same complexity: for each word you need to check equality, which takes O(L), for the overall complexity of O(W*L).

If you need to look up entire words, hash table is easier. However, you cannot look up words by their prefix using a hash table; If prefix-based lookups are of no interest to you, use a hash table; otherwise, use a trie.

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