# Linear Time Sorting, Counting Sort & Radix Sort

The lower bound of sorting algorithms implies that if we hope to sort numbers faster than O(n log n), we cannot do it by making comparisons alone. Is it possible to sort without making comparisons?

The answer is yes, but only under very restrictive circumstances. Many applications involve sorting small integers (e.g. sorting characters, exam scores, etc.). We present three algorithms based on the theme of speeding up sorting in special cases, by not making comparisons.

Counting sort assumes that the numbers to be sorted are in the range 1 to k where k is small. The basic idea is to determine the rank of each number in final sorted array.

The rank of an item is the number of elements that are less than or equal to it. Once we know the ranks, we simply copy numbers to their final position in an output array.

The question is…

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Posted on April 26, 2013, in Programming. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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