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Issue 5.2


Sorting Arrays

Bring Order To Your Objects

Issue: 5.2 (January/February 2007)
Author: Charles Yeomans
Author Bio: Charles is the author of "I Declare: Calling External Functions in REALbasic", available online at http://www.declareSub.com
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 10,734
Starting Page Number: 38
Article Number: 5215
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Excerpt of article text...

The next few Algorithms columns will tackle the subject of sorting. Along with searching, sorting is one of the fundamental algorithmic tasks in programming. I'll cover some of the standard sorting algorithms, after which you may be better equipped to use them in your own projects. We begin with the definitions.

What is Sorting?

For our purposes, sorting is the following operation. Given an array A and a function that defines a comparison between any two elements, to sort the array means to reorder the elements so that A(i - 1) <= A(i) for all i in the range from 1 to UBound(A).

There is a stronger concept called stable sorting. A stable sort is a sort that preserves the relative order of equal elements. That is, suppose element1 and element2 are elements of the array A, and element1 = element2. If A.IndexOf(element1) < A.IndexOf(element2) before sorting, then after a stable sort, A.IndexOf(element1) < A.IndexOf(element2) remains true even though the elements may have been moved from their original positions.

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