Fundamentals of Computer Science II (CSC-152 97F)

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# Outline of Class 22: O(n*log(n)) sorting

## Miscellaneous

• I'd recommend going to this weeks Scholars' Convocation, which has a talk by the CEO of Lucent, a 1968 Grinnell grad and loyal alum. There's also an evening panel on competitiveness on Thursday.
• A workshop I signed up for this coming weekend expects me to have a draft grant proposal, so I'll be spending much of my week on that, rather than on grading your assignments. Sorry.
• Still, feel free to come by and ask me questions.
• So ... who was able to come up with an appropriate tail-recursive version of the efficient exponentiation algorithm?
• Start reading Bailey, Chapter 6.

## Better Sorting Routines

• All of the sorting routines we've seen up to this point have had running time O(n^2).
• Can you do better? Yes.
• One technique: use the same divide and conquer approach that we used to turn linear search into binary search (and go from O(n) to O(logn)).

### Merge Sort

• We can come up with a number of sorting techniques based on the divide and conquer technique. One of the most straightforward is merge sort.
• In merge sort, you split the vector (or list or array or ...) into two parts, sort each part, and then merge them together.
• Unlike the previous algorithms, merge sort requires extra space for the sorted vector (or subvectors).
• The book uses a helper array named `temp`
• I'll be writing a slightly more readable but less efficient version that returns the sorted version of the vector.
• In approximate Java code,
```/**
Sort a vector, returning a sorted version of the vector.
pre: The elements in the vector are comparable.
post: Returns a sorted version of the vector (defined elsewhere).
post: The original vector is not changed.
*/
public static VectorOfComparable mergeSort(VectorOfComparable v) {
int middle;			// Index of middle element
// Base case: vector of size 0 or 1
if (v.size() <= 1) {
return v.clone();	// Cloned, so that it is safe to modify
// the returned vector
} // if
// Recursive case: split and merge
middle = v.size() / 2;	// Integer division gives integer
return merge(mergeSort(v.subVector(0,middle));
mergeSort(v.subVector(middle+1,v.size())));
} // mergeSort

/**
Merge two sorted vectors into a single sorted vector.
pre: Both vectors are sorted
pre: Elements in both vectors are comparable
post: The returned vector is sorted, and contains all the
elements of the two vectors
post: The two arguments are not changed
*/
public static VectorOfComparable merge(VOC left, VOC right) {
// Variables
Vector result = new VectorOfComparable(left.size()+right.size());
int left_index=0;	// Index into left vector
int right_index=0;	// Index into right vector
int index=0;		// Index into result vector
// As long both vectors have elements, copy the smaller one.
while ((left_index<left.size()) && (right_index<right.size())) {
if(left[left_index].smaller(right[right_index])) {
result[index++] = left[left_index++];
} // first element in left subvector is smaller
else {
result[index++] = right[right_index++];
} // first element in right subvector is smaller
} // while
// Copy any remaining parts of each vector.
while(left_index<left.size()) {
result[index++] = left[left_index++];
}
while(right_index<right.size()) {
result[index++] = right[right_index++];
}
// That's it
return result;
} // merge
```
• What is the running time? We can use a somewhat clever analysis technique.
• Assume that we're dealing with n = 2^x for some x.
• Consider all the sorts of vectors of size k as the same "level".
• There are n/k vectors of size k.
• Because we divide in half each time, there are log_2(n) levels.
• Going from level k to level k+1, we do O(n) work to merge.
• So, the running time is O(n*log_2(n)).
• Unfortunately, merge sort requires significantly more memory than do the other sorting routines (you can spend some time trying to come up with an "in place" merge sort, but you are quite likely to fail).

### Quick Sort

• Is it possible to write an O(n*log_2(n)) sorting algorithm that is based on comparing and swapping, but doesn't require significantly extra space?
• Yes, if you're willing to rely on probabilities.
• In quick sort, you split (partition) the array to be sorted into three parts: those smaller than some middle element, those equal to some middle element, and those larger than some middle element. You can then sort the three pieces, and glue them back together.
• With a little work, you can do this partitioning in place, so that there is no overhead (and so that "glueing" is basically a free operation).
• (It is also okay to partition the array into two parts: those less than or equal to the element, and those greater than or equal to the element.)
```/**
Sort a subvector using quick sort.
pre: All elements are comparable.
pre: 0 <= lb <= ub < size()
post: The vector is sorted.
*/
public void quickSort(int lb, int ub) {
// Variables
Comparable pivot;	// The pivot used to split the vector
int mid;		// The position of the pivot
// Base case: size one
if (lb == ub) return;
// Pick a pivot.  Often, this is the second element of the
// vector (for some reason, it works better than the first).
// More clever selection techniques might also exist.
pivot = selectPivot(lb,ub);
// Determine the position of the pivot
mid = split(pivot, lb, ub);
// Recurse
if (mid-1>lb) quickSort(lb,mid-1);
if (mid+1<ub) quickSort(mid+1,ub);
} // quickSort

/**
Partition a vector into two subvectors: those less than or
equal to a particular element (the pivot), and those greater
than the pivot.
returns: The index of the pivot (mid) if it's in the vector.
returns: the index of the largest element smaller than
pivot, if it's not.
pre: lb <= ub
pre: the elements in the vector are comparable
post: for all 0 <= i <= mid, mid < j < size()
elementAt(i) <= elementAt(j)
*/
public int partition(Comparable pivot, int lb, int ub) {
// Keep going until we reach the middle
while(lb < ub) {
// If we have a small enough element on the left, advance
// the lower-bound.
if (elementAt(lb).lessEqual(pivot)) ++lb;
// If we have a large enough element on the right, advance
// the upper bound.  For safety, we don't advance both in the
// same round.
else if (pivot.less(elementAt(ub))) --ub;
// If necessary, swap elements in the wrong part of the
// vector
if (pivot.less(elementAt(lb)) &&
elementAt(ub).less(pivot)) {
swap(lb,ub);
}
} // while
// lb = ub, so we can return
return lb;
} // split
```
• We might want to spend some time verifying that our `partition` method actually works (that it partitions correctly and that it terminates).
• What is the running time of this algorithm? It depends on how well we partition. If we partition into two equal halves, then we can say
• Partitioning a vector of length n takes O(n) steps.
• The time to partition those two partitions into four parts is also O(n).
• If each partition is perfect (splits it exactly in half), we can stop the process after O(log_2(n)) levels.
• This gives a running time of O(n*log_2(n)).
• However, bad choice of pivots can give significantly worse running time. If we always chose the largest element as the pivot, this algorithm would be equivalent to `selectionSort`, and would take time O(n^2).

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