quick sort

Posted on 2007-03-26
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
i attempt to alter the quick sort code to choose the pivot as median of first, middle and last element,but i couldnot achieve my aim. my code is:
template<class type>
void quick_sort(type* darr,int size, int lb, int ub)
int a;              // key holder //
int up, down;
int temp;           // temporary variable, used in swapping //

if (lb >= ub)

a = darr[(lb+ub)/2];
up = ub;
down = lb;

while (down < up)
    while (darr[down] <= a)         // scan the keys from left to right //
    while (darr[up] > a)             // scan the keys from right to left //
    if (down < up)
        temp = darr[down];          /* interchange records */
      darr[down] = darr[up];
        darr[up] = temp;

darr[lb] = darr[up];                /* interchange records */
darr[up] = a;

quick_sort(darr,size, lb, up-1);         /* recursive call - sort first subtable */
quick_sort(darr, size,up+1, ub);         /* recursive call - sort second subtable */


how to choose pivot in the way i desire?
Question by:btocakci
LVL 86

Assisted Solution

jkr earned 100 total points
ID: 18795545

a = darr[lb+(lb+ub)/2];

instead. Others even set it to "a = darr[lb];", see e.g. the examples at
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

efn earned 150 total points
ID: 18796447
You need to write some code to find the median value.  You don't have any now.  You could write a big nested if statement to find it, or you could put the three values in an array, sort them, and take the second, whichever you find easiest.

Although your current code takes the pivot from the middle element, the post-loop code is written for the pivot being the first element.  You will have to fix this too.  After you find the median, you could save where it came from and use that after the loop to do the right exchange, but it will be simpler to swap the median with the first element before the loop and keep the code you have.
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

itsmeandnobodyelse earned 250 total points
ID: 18798012
Finding the median costs extra time that will slow down sorting in most cases. You may consider to take a random index between lb and ub instead:

    pivot = lb + rand()%(ub-lb);

To avoid the rand() overhead as well you may use a static array of random numbers instead:

   static int randarr = { 1234, 623, 7621, 9, 2800, ... };

   pivot = lb + (randarr[(ub l lb)%(sizeof(randarr)/sizeof(int))] % (ub - lb));

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