Monday, November 27, 2006

Sort of Amazing

Sometimes Top Men find things intriguing that the teeming masses would consider rather esoteric - sorting algorithms for example. But before you check your brain and move on to the lastest lonelygirl15 episode consider the lowly process of sorting for just a moment.

Perhaps assumed perfunctory, and certainly taken for granted, computer sorting is a rather interesting challenge. Give a list of items to the computer and it returns the list in order. You might be suprised to learn just how many different ways there are to sort a list - and how much faster some methods are than others.

If you're still here, then Top Men consider you highly intelligent and reward your curious nature with this link - a visual demonstration of four sort routines.

It ain't no Dolphin Boat, but at least it won't give you skin cancer.


Blogger MalexMedia said...

Actually watching the bubble sort, I find I am amazed at how incredibly obtuse it is... :-P

11/27/2006 12:07 PM  
Blogger MrHen said...

The latter two algorithms on that page use parallel algorithms so that completely skews things.

Their measurement of big-O is interesting. Big-O is traditionally the number of operations. (At least, it was in my classes.) This site seems to be measuring big-O as the number of operations on one processor until the job is done.

Using n processors the actual number of operations would be roughly n times their case time.

Which is exactly why parallel processing is so cool.

The visualization of the sorts is pretty slick, too. If you watch the algorithms run you can notice that more than two pieces move per operation on the latter two sorts.

11/27/2006 3:27 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

Awesome! I only know the bubble sort and quick sort algorithms, and whilst I've seen more comprehensive demonstrations on a smaller scale, that's still pretty nifty.

Also, woohoo for comments! :)


11/27/2006 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! What's wrong with a little self-indulgent youTubeage once and awhile? ;)

I haven't really been keeping up with the lonelygirl saga since the first few days of the ARG, but it seems pretty interesting - actually reminds me a lot of the zandi quests, spyder, and the way story is presented in Uru.


11/30/2006 3:11 AM  

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