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Memory Hierarchy and Locality

Most computers have a memory hierarchy :

Operations can only be performed on registers. There is a continual migration of data between slower memories and faster memories where it can be processed.

Computer hardware and software is often optimized to run faster when there is memory locality , i.e. successive accesses to memory are in nearby locations by memory address.

Algorithms that step through an array using a for loop to access adjacent locations are likely to be faster than algorithms that jump around.