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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A method of comparing the time requirements of sorting methods

Formulas have been developed for estimating the sorting time required by most of the known internal sorting methods in terms of parameters describing the file to be sorted and the computer time required for basic sorting operations. Procedures are described for using these estimates to compare the efficiency of various methods, and results of several comparisons are given. A procedure to determine optimum combinations of sorting methods is shown. An expression for tape time required by a balanced merge sort is obtained, and difficulties in obtaining such expressions for cascade, polyphase and oscillating sorts are discussed.

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