1. I have a signal with length of $N$.
  2. The sampling frequency is $f_s$.
  3. Window size is $w$
  4. The noverlap size is set to $m$.
  5. And $nfft$ is selected for frequency resolutions.

I am running a STFT with matlab spectrogram function.

  • what is the effect of nfft , $f_s$ and noverlap on STFT computational burden?
  • what is computation complexity of STFT with these parameters size? {in term of big O() }

Note: The FFT computational complexity for a signal with length of $N$ is $Nlog(N)$


1 Answer 1


The number of FFTs is roughly N/(w-m). An fft costs you nfft*log2(nfft) so the total is proportional to N/(w-m)*nfft*log2(nfft).

A typical application would make nfft = w and m = w/2, so this would come out to be proportional to N*log2(nfft). So it's proportional to the length or you data set (obviously) and the log of the FFT size.


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