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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Internal and tape sorting using the replacement-selection technique

A general technique for sequencing unsorted records is presented. The technique is shown to be applicable for the first stage of a generalized sort program (the formation of initial strings) as well as for sorting records within a memory storage (an internal sort). It is shown that given N records in memory storage, records are sequenced using 1+log2 N tests per record, that initial string lengths will average 2N for random input records, and that reading, writing and processing can be accomplished simultaneously if the computer permits such overlap.

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