I am looking for suggestions to convert "low-complexity" (in the context of computations or a program) into a simple, short idiomatic word or adjective (not "simple"). [EDIT] It is meant to be used in several places, and I would like to avoid repetitions with very close-by terms.

Example is use : "the polynomial predictor is of low-complexity" > "the polynomial predictor is []" or [EDIT] "this [] approach".

[EDIT] The more precise context is that of online or "real-time" computing. A task, or part of a program, should be executed in a limited amount of time. The trade-off is: do it as good as possible, possibly complex, at the cost of other tasks that should be executed during the same period. Or at the risk that the aforementioned task cannot complete in the given amount of time. Here, low-complexity entails that the number of basic operations for the task is evaluated (somehow "bounded") and known to be able to complete.

"Low-complexity" does not mean no complexity at all. There is some, but quite tractable with little pain. Like "low-rate" does not stand for "free".

[EDIT] I thought about "scarce", or "tight", and am not unsure they apply in the context. "Efficiency" is good, it possibly does not convey the same direct "impact" to the technical reader.

[EDIT] I finally choosed a vaguer "hasty", with the acronym CHOP for "Computationally Hasty Online Prediction", which gracefully appeared before looking for the helicopter sound.

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    So, a more complex version of "simple"? Have you simply consulted a thesaurus for synonyms of "simple". (It's quite simple -- type "synonym simple" in Google.) – Hot Licks Mar 25 '16 at 0:44
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    You need to explain why none of straightforward, easy, uncomplicated, uninvolved, effortless, painless, undemanding, or elementary is suitable. – Hot Licks Mar 25 '16 at 0:50
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    The answers so far seem to be recommending technical terms, if the author is looking for something to use in a research paper, the "Technical" tag might be useful to add. – JGaines Mar 25 '16 at 1:30
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    In the context of a program implementation or algorithm that performs well, I would suggest: efficient, elegant, or concise (if brevity is a component of "low-complexity") Noting that efficient, elegant, and concise solutions are not necessarily easily: comprehensible, accessible, or approachable. Somewhere in between the two sides of "low-complexity" might be 'effective.' – Corra Mar 25 '16 at 2:17
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    @Corra efficient is a good word, since it conveys some quantitative information. Efficient can for instance both mean: fast, or with quality results – Laurent Duval Mar 25 '16 at 6:34

You can use Order-1 or low order. You can even use O1 is you want to play with the cool kids.

This means that the algorithm scales linearly with the input. So, it is the "most scalable" type of simple algorithm, in that O2 algorithms require something in proportion to the square of the number of inputs.

It doesn't mean there are zero operations.

O1 computations can still be very large, but are far simpler than On, n>1. That doesn't argue against using the term, it just argues that not every problem has a "simple" solution, but O1 are, in many senses, the "simplest" one can find.

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  • I thought about saying this, but "low-order" is two words. Also, OP is not talking about the polynomial... he's talking about it's "predictor". – Snoop Mar 25 '16 at 1:33
  • @jimm101 Indeed, this predictor is somehow quadratic with low constants. But the polynomial can be quartic or qunntic. Like 01 anyway – Laurent Duval Mar 25 '16 at 7:03

I think there was another answer here at one point that said "incomplex". I do not believe that this is the word you are looking for if you are writing a mathematical paper about polynomials. I would recommend the term:


See definitions #4, #5, and #7.

The reason that I would suggest to use the word smooth is because I have already seen it used numerous times regarding the calculation of polynomials. Although this paper does not exactly reflect what you are writing about, it will give you an idea of how the term smooth can be used in mathematics as a substitute for saying "not-complex" or "simple". The term smooth here is used for the smoothing of polynomials in the field of encryption. I am not sure how this will sound in your sentence (maybe it will confuse things mathematically, I am an engineer not a mathmetician) but this is the closest thing I could find.

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  • Complexity refers to the number of operations the algorithm performs for a given input. Smoothness refers to the rate of change of change (2nd derivative). They aren't related in any obvious way. – jimm101 Mar 25 '16 at 1:15
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    @jimm101 I guess I thought that the OP was NOT asking for a "mathematical" term and just a general idiomatic word to describe "low-complexity". If they were actually looking for a mathematical word, then that was my misunderstanding. I also kind of thought that based on the usage in some papers I have seen for science/engineering you could massage the word to make it fit for what the OP is trying to say. – Snoop Mar 25 '16 at 1:17

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