QuickMergesort: Practically Efficient Constant-Factor Optimal Sorting

by   Stefan Edelkamp, et al.

We consider the fundamental problem of internally sorting a sequence of n elements. In its best theoretical setting QuickMergesort, a combination Quicksort with Mergesort with a Median-of-√(n) pivot selection, requires at most n n - 1.3999n + o(n) element comparisons on the average. The questions addressed in this paper is how to make this algorithm practical. As refined pivot selection usually adds much overhead, we show that the Median-of-3 pivot selection of QuickMergesort leads to at most n n - 0.75n + o(n) element comparisons on average, while running fast on elementary data. The experiments show that QuickMergesort outperforms state-of-the-art library implementations, including C++'s Introsort and Java's Dual-Pivot Quicksort. Further trade-offs between a low running time and a low number of comparisons are studied. Moreover, we describe a practically efficient version with n n + O(n) comparisons in the worst case.


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