I have this algorithm that calculates the matrix determinant using recursive divide-and conquer-approach:

int determ(int a[max][max],int max) {
  int det=0, p, h, k, i, j, temp[max][max];
    //base case omitted
    for(p=0;p<max;p++) {
      h = 0;
      k = 0;
      for(i=1;i<max;i++) {
        for( j=0;j<max;j++) {
          if(j==p) {
          temp[h][k] = a[i][j];
          if(k==max-1) {
            k = 0;
    return det;

I want to optimize the main loop (with a loop unwinding or any strategy that can reduce the execution time). Any suggestion?


Sorry, it is not a divide and conquer, it's a combinatorial explosion. The timing complexity

$$T(n) = nT(n-1)$$

evaluates to n! - exponential growth. There is no way to heal the code; you have to choose another algorithm.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ could you suggest me any better alternative algorithm? \$\endgroup\$ – AndreaF May 18 '14 at 1:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Start with stackoverflow.com/questions/2435133/… \$\endgroup\$ – vnp May 18 '14 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems that using the Cramer rule find determinant is O(n^3) but I don't know if is this strategy valid for all n*n matrix of any size, and I haven't idea how exactly should I implement this algorithm to get O(n^3) complexity code. Could you give me more details? \$\endgroup\$ – AndreaF May 18 '14 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Gaussian elimination en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… is a good starting point. \$\endgroup\$ – vnp May 18 '14 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ what do you think about the efficency of the second c method proposed here? thanks rosettacode.org/wiki/Matrix_arithmetic \$\endgroup\$ – AndreaF May 18 '14 at 23:47

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