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# How to calculate the depth of an elimination tournament bracket

Posted on 2010-01-05
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I am looking to write code to output elimination tournament brackets. I am at a step in the process where I am trying to figure out what teams should match up with each other to start the bracket (ie if 8 teams 1 plays 8, 4 plays 5, etc) and I think I've realised that to figure this out, I need to know how deep the tournament bracket goes (in the case of 8 teams it is 4 sections deep per below) I am trying to figure out the mathematics to determining this depth. I assume it must be similar to binary tree height, but I'm not sure how to do that?

I believe that in this problem statement the tree is complete, and I know the number of nodes and leaf nodes.

Tree example

1 -
| ---
8 -       |
| ---
4 -       |     |
| ---      |
5 -             |
| ----
2 -             |
| ---      |
7 -       |     |
| ---
3 -       |
| ---
6 -

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Question by:dirknibleck

LVL 15

Accepted Solution

If N is the number of teams, then tree depth would be log2(N). In case of 8 teams it's 3: quater-final, semi-final and final. Of course, for complete tree, the number of teams should be 2^N, where N is integer.
0

LVL 11

Expert Comment

actually this is called a perfect binary tree: each node has exactly 2 children and all leaves have the same depth.
the number of leaf nodes L (your number of teams) is
L =  2^H
where H is the height.

So you can find the height by doing
H = log2(L)

0

LVL 11

Expert Comment

so... in C# you would do:
int height = (int)Math.Log(numOfTeams, 2);

of course this assumes you are indeed working with a "normal tournament". Meaning your number of team is a power of 2 = 2, 4, 8, 16, 32.
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