Issue No. 02 - March (1978 vol. 4)
H.S. Stone , Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts
This paper gives timing comparisons for three sorting algorithms written for the CDC STAR computer. One algorithm is Hoare's Quicksort, which is the fastest or nearly the fastest sorting algorithm for most computers. A second algorithm is a vector version of Quicksort that takes advantage of the STAR's vector operations. The third algorithm is an adaptation of Batcher's sorting algorithm, which makes especially good use of vector operations but has a complexity of N (log N)2 as compared to a complexity of N log N for the Quicksort algorithms. In spite of its worse complexity, Batcher's sorting algorithm is competitive with the serial version of Quicksort for vectors up to the largest that can be treated by STAR. Vector Quicksort outperforms the other two algorithms and is generally preferred. These results indicate that unusual instruction sets can introduce biases in program execution time that counter results predicted by worst-case asymptotic complexity analysis.
sorting, Batcher sort, CDC STAR, parallel computation, pipeline computers, Quicksort
H. Stone, "Sorting on STAR," in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 4, no. , pp. 138-146, 1978.